Pixel Tracker

Monday, December 10 , 2018, 2:14 pm | Mostly Cloudy 62º


Goleta City Council Hears South Coast Visitor Profile, Tourism Economic Study

The Goleta City Council received a presentation from Visit Santa Barbara on Tuesday highlighting its annual visitor profile and the economic impact of tourism for the region, including Goleta. 

Visit Santa Barbara is the destination marketing organization for the city of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County’s South Coast and surrounding communities, said Kathy Janega-Dykes, president and CEO of Visit Santa Barbara.

Its mission is to promote the area as a premier destination for business and leisure travel. 

The organization’s membership includes hoteliers, attractions, restaurants, retail businesses and other visitor services.

Part of its funding comes from the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) and Goleta-specific marketing is completed with that money. The South Coast is among more than 100 California communities that have a TBID, according to Janega-Dykes.

Goleta is a tourism destination,  Janega-Dykes said, and tourism is an economic engine and regional tourism partnerships is a successful model.

“It truly has evolved as a tourism destination,” she said of Goleta. “I remember 15 years ago when I started, and there were few hotels and lodging facilities that frankly a lot of your residents are enjoying.

“There were few restaurants, so the guests that stayed had to go to Santa Barbara for dining experiences or going out in the evening, but it’s completely transformed and become a beautiful destination,” she continued.

During the council's comments, Mayor Pro Tempore Stuart Kasdin responded, “I can reassure you that people recognize there are a lot of hotels now — I hear from our constituents about hotels.”

David Reichbach, director of analytics and data security at the San Francisco-based Destination Analysts, released findings from its 2016-17 Santa Barbara South Coast Visitor Profile and Tourism Economic Impact Study, which aims to understand visitors and the impact of their spending in the South Coast. 

The five research studies in the South Coast area included visitor intercept surveys, hotel guest surveys, a survey of meeting planners, a survey of hoteliers and telephone surveys of homes in the area, Reichbach explained.

The tourism market research company compromised data from September 2016 to August 2017.

The South Coast welcomed an estimated 7.2 million visitors, Reichbach said. Visitors spent about $1.9 billion in the region and more than 13,000 jobs in the South Coast area were supported by the tourism industry.

About 1.5 million visitors came to Goleta last year, Reichbach said, and direct visitor spending was more than $200 million.

“Over 70 percent of that spending ($200 million) comes from hotel guests,” Reichbach said. “These are visitors from out of town, staying overnight and spending at restaurants and shopping.”

More than 1,200 direct jobs in Goleta were generated by the visitor industry, Reichbach said.

Goleta’s visitor industry generates more than $12 million in taxes for the city.

Hotel tax in Goleta generates an estimated 67 percent, followed by property tax with 17 percent and sales tax with 16 percent.

The benefits of tourism include tax dollars that assist essential city services and employment opportunities for residents. 

Tourism supports Goleta businesses, attractions and restaurants that could not survive based only on local customers, Reichbach said.

“Tourism does affect the quality of life of residents in ways that you might not expect,” he said. “If tourism vanished from Goleta, and just had resident spending, in order to keep up the same level of economic engine each resident would have to spend an additional $6,311 every year — to keep the same taxes generated.”

Organizations like the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visit Santa Barbara act as economic development engines, Janega-Dykes said.

The city's chamber of commerce receives $160,000 annually from the South Coast TBID to use for its own marketing efforts. It’s an amount that has historically been matched by the city to fund the marketing infrastructure. 

“I encourage you to continue investing in the Goleta Chamber, so that they continue to build the infrastructure that is needed for this area,” Janega-Dykes told council members.

Destination marketing is a competitive landscape, Janega-Dykes explained.

Working together to leverage opportunities and create economies of scale through regional marketing partnership makes the region competitive in the global landscape. 

“There are strong brands all over the world,” Janega-Dykes said.

Visit Santa Barbara markets the area to attract all types of visitors — not just leisure travelers, but also meetings, conferences, weddings, events and film and television production are also part of the organization’s purview, Janega-Dykes said.

“Not only is Goleta a gateway to the wine country to the north and adjacent to the university (UC Santa Barbara), but there are more attractions in Goleta whether that’s in the form of new lodging properties, new restaurants, new craft breweries and even more,” Janega-Dykes said.

Also on Tuesday, the council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that calls for a pay hike for council members with new wages in effect January 2019. However, the ordinance would become null and void if voters in November approve Measure W that would increase the annual salaries for all council members based on median income. 

A second reading of the ordinance will occur during a council meeting in October in the Goleta City Hall Council Chamber, 130 Cremona Dr., Suite B.

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 using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • 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 >