The City of San Luis Obispo recently announced a record-breaking $10.6 million in transient occupancy tax (TOT) revenue. That money comes from hotel stays and goes directly into the city’s general fund, which in turn funds core public services.
The money collected by the transient occupancy tax in 2021-22 was 54% higher than the previous year.
The TOT is a 10% tax that is charged on all hotel stays.
The tax is overseen by the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID), which is a special assessment district that represents all lodging businesses in the city. That team’s marketing efforts get funded through a 2% charge on all overnight stays.
"We’ve seen one of our busiest years ever," said Eva Kessler, Managing Partner at Nomada Management. Nomada oversees the Granada Hotel, which has seen a huge impact from tourism in the last year.
Downtown SLO has also noticed the increase in foot traffic.
"Every day we're seeing more and more guests who are coming in and those guests support the local retail, they shop in the shops, they dine in the restaurants, they drink in the bars, and they use the local services as well," explained Bettina Swigger, Downtown SLO CEO.
At the city council's meeting last Tuesday, the city's tourism manager presented all of the numbers and the council voted to declare the intention to continue the tourism business improvement district
A separate public hearing will be held on November 1 to discuss the continuation of the TBID.