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Santa Barbara’s Transient Occupancy Tax Revenue Rises 11.8% in January

Tourism sector benefits from international visitors, and the city expects to end the year about $447,000 above initial estimates

Santa Barbara’s transient occupancy taxes for January increased 11.8 percent compared with January 2011, according to the City of Santa Barbara.

The city netted $774,186 in TOT in January, and it expects to end the year about $447,000 above initial estimates.

The tourism sector has especially benefited from international visitors, according to Kathy Janega-Dykes, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission.

“We’re seeing a strong recovery in the tourism sector, and the actual bookings are stronger than originally forecasted,” she previously told Noozhawk.

Santa Barbara is on pace to set a record for hotel tax revenue, officials said at the annual State of the City address at the Canary Hotel last month. But Santa Barbara County Auditor-Controller Robert Geis said sales taxes haven’t reached pre-recession levels, and property taxes are expected to hover around 3 percent growth for the next several years.

Janega-Dykes said the city’s tourism sector is a bright spot.

“What’s attractive is the diversity of the businesses in this community,” she said. “Some resort communities focus primarily on leisure, but in our case we attract conferences, corporations and social groups in addition to leisure and visitors who come from all over the world.”

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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