Sunday, July 23 , 2017, 2:39 pm | A Few Clouds 70º

 
 
 
 

Business

Santa Barbara Bed Tax on Upswing with Record Tourism Revenue

Santa Barbara's tourism industry posted its highest numbers in city history last year, revealing that more people are visiting the area and contributing more cash to city coffers.

The fiscal year that ended June 30 posted its highest numbers to date, with $16.82 million in transient occupancy tax, or TOT, coming into the treasury. 

The city's TOT is also known as the bed tax, which is charged by local hoteliers as visitors stay in their accommodations.

The city reached and exceeded its pre-recession levels in 2012, according to city treasury manager Genie Wilson.

In June, the city collected $1.67 million in TOT, a 7.9 percent increase from June 2013, according to a statement issued this week from the city's treasury.

The city said the increase is below the growth rates realized most of the year, which might be due to the fact that there was one fewer weekend day this year than last year. 

Over the past year, the city has collected $16.82 million in TOT, a 14.6 percent increase from the previous year.

Santa Barbara County's South Coast also saw a 7.4 percent increase in the average daily rate and a 3.45 percent increase in occupancy over the last year, according to Visit Santa Barbara, a group that promotes tourism in the area.

“As a post-recession economic driver, tourism has returned with notable force,” Visit Santa Barbara's Kathy Janega-Dykes said in a statement.

People are traveling again and coming to the South Coast, she said, adding that the group is continuing to work to market aggressively to people planning trips.

The tourism industry on the South Coast generates $1.5 billion in visitor-related spending annually and supports 12,000 jobs, according to Visit Santa Barbara. 

The organization maintains they've helped more than double the amount of lodging generated revenue in the area from $28 million in 2010-11 to a projected $59 million in 2013-14.

The group's programs expanded over the past three years with funding from a Tourism Business Improvement District, or TBID, which will help the organization invest in a new advertising campaign and brand identity. 

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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.

  • 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 >

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.



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 >