Money and Business

SLO County tourism marks fifth year of growth

$1.59 billion in tourist economy, 440 new jobs

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - Visit SLO CAL press release:

Visit SLO CAL celebrated National Travel and Tourism Week today and reported that the local tourism economy in San Luis Obispo County grew to $1.59 billion in 2016, and has increased a record 10 percent since 2012. What’s more, visitors spent $1.53 billion in 2016, a year-over-year increase of 1.2 percent.

In San Luis Obispo County, tourism dollars generated $61.7 million in local tax revenues, a 1.2 percent increase over 2016, saving area households $595.70 in taxes for the year.

“Tourism continues its seven-year upward trend,” says Chuck Davison, President & CEO of Visit SLO CAL. “This growth is encouraging as we actively market to increase awareness by creating a unified, countywide brand that will drive demand. We’re working to share this message and help the community understand why tourism matters.”

One out of every eight jobs in San Luis Obispo County is dependent on tourism, and the $61.7 million in local tax revenues can be articulated into community services - 898 police officers, 119 miles of 2-lane roads resurfaced, 1,025 firefighters or 86 parks.

“Tourism supports each member of the community and helps create the SLO CAL lifestyle and quality of life we all enjoy,” said Davison. “Our annual Year in Review report breaks down why tourism matters and further communicates how Visit SLO CAL supports the destination in domestic and international markets across multiple channels.”

The $1.53 billion dollars spent by tourists impacts every industry sector in San Luis Obispo County: $431 million in food and beverage sales; $415 in overnight accommodations; $265 million in retail sales; and $191 million spent on arts, entertainment and recreation. Broken down, $50 is spent every second by visitors in San Luis Obispo County.

“As awareness builds and access to the county expands with additional flight service to Seattle, and Denver – we are encouraged by the positive role tourism plays in our local economy, from lowering tax bills for every household, to helping local small businesses thrive,” said Davison.

As a way to continue growing the tourism economy, Visit SLO CAL has been working on creative ways to attract more the business travelers, a tourism sector with significant room for growth in San Luis Obispo County.


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