H-NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Jul 25, 2013 7:21 PM by Jeanette Trompeter

More tourists visiting San Luis Obispo

Maybe it's has something to do with being named the happiest city in America, or good marketing, or just the fact people are figuring out it's a great destination spot. Whatever the reason, more people are visiting San Luis Obispo for the second year in a row.

SLO-town is looking at its second straight year of high tourism revenue received from local hotels, inns and other lodging.

The city's transient occupancy tax, which has grown for the third straight year, brought in the highest revenue in the past decade in the 2011-12 fiscal year and is on target to top that in the 2012-13 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

The San Luis Obispo Chamber says the numbers have been on a steady incline since the 2010-11 fiscal year, when the so-called bed tax grew 8.5 percent over the previous year. Each year since has seen significant growth: in 2011-12, TOT was up 8 percent, and in 2012-13 it was up 6.5 percent as of April, according to the most current report available.

"The growth that we have seen over the last three years is great for local businesses and the San Luis Obispo economy as a whole," said Lindsey Miller, director of marketing for the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce. "It speaks to the incredible drawing power of the Central Coast and the growing diversity of visitors that we attract."

The transient occupancy tax is a 10 percent tax added to overnight stays at local hotels, inns, motels and other lodgings for stays of 30 days or less.

Funds raised from the tax go into the City's general fund, which pays for essential city services such as police and fire, as well as some personnel expenses. The City has estimated that it will raise nearly $5.4 million from TOT in 2012-13 making up 10 percent of the estimated general fund revenue. This is a 19.9 percent increase from the nearly $4.5 million the tax raised in 2010-11 and a 5 percent increase from the $5.1 million in 2011-12.

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JEANETTE TROMPETER

Follow Jeanette Trompeter's blog "JT's Little Corner of the World."