In response to some constructive criticism from a planner about 15 years ago, the Portland, Ore. hospitality community created a Code of Conduct, outlining how the staff of the convention center, Travel Portland, and city hotels will work together to bring business to town, handle prospective business respectfully, and not undercut other properties in town.
What has long been an internal document, signed annually by community members, recently went live on the Travel Portland site, and the planning community quickly took notice, lauding the efforts of the city.
“The code is kind of basic, but it’s about the fundamentals,” says Brian McCartin, executive vice president of convention and tourism sales with Travel Portland. “It’s those fundamentals that are critical. We want to make sure everyone understands how we’re going to operate and how we do business.”
McCartin notes that the code has never had to be enforced—he admits he’s not even sure what would happen if someone broke the rules—but says that it serves more as a reminder to people about being respectful and responsible business partners and healthy competitors. “Until we sell Portland, we all have to work together to promote the destination. And when you think about booking Portland, you get all of us,” he says. “It takes a village to sell a city.”