What does tourism mean to Al Munguia, the General Manager of the Jupiter Hotel in Portland? It means two things. “First and foremost it means jobs, livelihoods,” Munguia remarked. Secondly, tourism brings us all together. “It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you will be changed by having gone there and experienced a destination.”
This notion runs through the core of what the Jupiter stands for as a local business in Oregon, and what they aim to foster as part of their philosophy of offering a place for visitors to stay where they can “create their own experience.”
Munguia hasn’t always worked in this kind of environment. He started his career in corporate hospitality in Southern California. Very quickly he realized that path was not for him. He wanted to feel connections to his destination and local community and work in an environment that fosters self-expression. So, he decided to pack his bags and move to Portland to work at the Jupiter Hotel — a decision he has never regretted.
When Munguia was approached in 2013 to participate in a new program called the Travel Oregon Forever Fund, his initial reaction was, “it just makes sense.” The Travel Oregon Forever Fund is managed by Travel Oregon with the support of global non-profit Sustainable Travel International. It is a fund that supports projects throughout the state that are improving the natural environment and fostering the celebration of local culture and heritage. Essentially, the fund supports work that is helping Oregon be a better place to live and visit.
Projects benefiting from the fund include The Human Access Project, which is revitalizing beach and water recreation access to the Willamette River, and Tom and Sue Hunton’s efforts to restore and convert a historic schoolhouse in Camas County into an interpretive center for visitors and locals alike. Businesses throughout the state, like the Jupiter, are engaged in the program by sharing its value with guests, encouraging them to turn their visit in Oregon into a legacy.
“The whole model of the Jupiter is to be part of the community and be reflective of our environment,” stated Munguia, and participation in the Fund allows the Jupiter and their guests, to do just that; to “be a part of something bigger.”
Want to turn your journey into a legacy? Donate to the Oregon Travel Forever Fund today.