Monday, May 21 , 2018, 10:20 am | Mostly Cloudy 62º

 
 
 
 

Business

Cruise Ship Visits Contributed $3.9 Million to Santa Barbara Economy in 2016

Hospitality industry digs into visitor trends at the 2017 Travel Outlook event

Peter Yesawich of MMGY Global spoke at the 2017 Travel Outlook hosted by Visit Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Peter Yesawich of MMGY Global spoke at the 2017 Travel Outlook hosted by Visit Santa Barbara. (Visit Santa Barbara photo)

The cruise ship business is a critical boost to the local Santa Barbara economy, bringing an estimated $3.9 million to the area last year, according to hospitality industry consultants. 

Visit Santa Barbara, a marketing organization for Santa Barbara’s South Coast region, released findings from the 2016 Cruise Ship Economic Impact Study on Friday. 

The organization credits the growth, 61 percent up from 2013, to the increase in cruise ships, which went from 21 in 2013 to 29 in 2016.

Last year, the ships brought 80,831 travelers to Santa Barbara, with passengers reported spending an average of $109.25 per travel party, according to the data from the market research firm Destination Analysts.

Restaurants and retail were noted as the largest components of visitor spending. 

Santa Barbara also receives an estimated $650,000 per year from the tax revenues and fees from cruise ships, according to the study. 

“We will continue to develop this sector in the most strategic way to benefit the community, particularly the retail sector, in partnership with the city of Santa Barbara Waterfront Department,” Visit Santa Barbara President and CEO Kathy Janega-Dykes said.

The study gathered information from 804 passengers from five cruises as they returned to their ships after spending a day in Santa Barbara.

More than half of the cruise ship passengers disembarked and spent at least part of the day in Santa Barbara and surrounding areas, according to the survey.

This was just one aspect of information community representatives, hospitality industry leaders and others learned Friday morning at the 2017 Travel Outlook event, hosted by Visit Santa Barbara at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion.

Janega-Dykes also presented preliminary results from the Santa Barbara South Coast Visitor Profile Study, which will be completed later this year.

Kassie Fraser, director of Asia Pacific marketing at Visit California, speaks during the 2017 Travel Outlook Friday morning at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion. Click to view larger
Kassie Fraser, director of Asia Pacific marketing at Visit California, speaks during the 2017 Travel Outlook Friday morning at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

The Destination Analysts report showed the majority of visitors to Santa Barbara spent the day in the city, with one in three staying overnight.

Visitors arriving by air increased to 7.2 percent from 4.5 percent in 2013, the report said.

The event included presentations on international travel, including the growing Chinese visitor market, and trends impacting Santa Barbara’s leisure-travel industry from keynote speaker Peter Yesawich, principal of industry insights at MMGY Global.

The millennial generation — someone born between 1980 to 2000 — is important to the travel industry, Yesawich said.

Visitors in that age range like to travel in groups, hold a college education, want the ability to travel with a pet and promptly check an electronic device in the morning, he said.

“This is an emerging market for Santa Barbara — you have got to pay attention,” Yesawich said. “What drives them to think about the use of their leisure time and travel is fundamentally different than for others.”

Millennials are engaging with travel-related apps, he added. 

“It’s increasing clear that a lot is moving digital and that is important as it relates this younger crowd,” Yesawich.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Gary Welterlen and Carla Reeves
Gary Welterlen and Carla Reeves
"We both love this business. We strive to make life long relationships from each real estate transaction."

Full Profile >