Oregon Public Broadcasting

The president of Bend's tourism agency says expanding Oregon State University-Cascades into a four-year institution could be a boon to tourism.

Doug La Placa of Visit Bend says Bend's visitor attractions could in turn attract students to a four-year university.

La Placa tells The Bulletin that a four-year university would be a primary economic driver that would attract new residents and visitors.

The school already provides training for the industry.

OSU-Cascades in 2002-03 became the first Oregon university to offer a bachelor's degree in tourism and outdoor leadership.

La Placa says tourism is part of the foundation of Bend's economy.

The Oregon Employment Department reports leisure and hospitality had the third-highest employment last year among private-sector industries in industries in Deschutes County.

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Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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