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SLO County begins paid advertising to discourage visitors from coming to the Central Coast

Posted at 9:06 PM, May 14, 2020

San Luis Obispo County is going the extra mile to keep people from visiting the area too soon.

Some visitors to the Central Coast said it may be impossible to keep others away despite the shelter-at-home order.

“Goodluck with that! The beach is the beach regardless and people are going to keep coming regardless of a lock down or a virus,” said Cassandra Cheshier who is visiting Pismo Beach from Bakersfield.

According to San Luis Obispo County, an $8,000 budget will be used to put out ads via social media, radio and television platforms across various markets for the next four weeks.

“We really need to limit this inter-county and inter-jurisdiction contact in order to keep the virus at bay at this time,” said Michelle Shoresman who is part of the public information team for the County of San Luis Obispo's Public Health Agency.

Visit SLO Cal said the drop in revenue due to less tourism will be major.

“In 2019 it generated over $2 billion dollars in spending and the forecast 2020 is that we'll see a decrease of 65% or about $1.1 billion dollars," said Chuck Davison, the president and CEO for the company.

Davison adds, however, that they stand behind the county and this decision and stopped its own advertising in March as to not encourage people to visit the Central Coast.

“We’re really hopeful that the recommendations from the tourism industry to allow us to work safely will be put in place here shortly and we’ll be able to start welcoming people at the right time,” said Davison.

The County of San Luis Obispo said they will continue to encourage visitors to stay at home until they hear otherwise through the government's reopening plans.