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Tourism campaigns underway once again in SLO Co.

The county health department says travel is still discouraged
Pismo Beach from the hills
Posted at 5:21 PM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 00:29:10-04

Tourism has taken a major hit in San Luis Obispo County, but that could change over the coming months.

San Luis Obispo County is a top tier destination point not only for California residents but for those out-of-state as well.

Visit SLO Cal is working to bring visitors to the area once again.

"Tourism is the second-largest economic input into this county, only second to agriculture. Last year, it was worth over a billion dollars to the community in 2019, so it was really important for us to get the destination back open," said Visit SLO CAL President and CEO Chuck Davison.

He says the outdoor space SLO County has to offer allows better opportunities for social distancing.

"One of the things that we've done is that we've relaunched our advertising and most of that is to the drive market because that's the people who are commuting here right now," Davison said.

At SLOCAL.com, the banner up top allows people to find everything from the COVID-19 safety measures being taken, to what's open in the county and at what capacity, but despite those efforts, the message coming from the county health department is slightly different.

"It is true that travel at this time is still discouraged," said San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. "There is a lot of it happening. We haven't seen any particular outbreaks in our county related to travel."

However, Borenstein says she hopes that visitors, especially those coming from high-risk areas, abide by the county's rules and expectations.

She says hotel occupancy rates have been around 75 percent recently but adds that the numbers could decrease some as the weather cools down.

Visit SLO CAL says about 10,000 hospitality workers are currently unemployed in the county.