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Visit SLO CAL announces record-breaking tourism in 2022

Posted at 7:21 PM, May 08, 2023

The month of May marks California Tourism Month.

This week Visit SLO CAL is celebrating tourism in San Luis Obispo County with Tourism Week, which runs from May 8 to May 12.

“In 2022, we saw $2.15 billion dollars in travel spending in San Luis Obispo County," Chuck Davison, president and CEO of Visit SLO CAL, said. "That’s up 14 percent from the previous year, and up six percent over 2019. So much of that is due to this fortunate place that we get to call home that people want to get out and experience the outdoors in this wonderful environment.”

In 2022, San Luis Obispo County welcomed 7.47 million visitors accounting for the $2.15 billion spent, meaning visitors spent more money during their trips.

Tourists spent $2.02 billion in 2019, the previous record high.

“There's so much attracting people to get out here, to get out of the city coming here," San Luis Obispo resident Marla Wright said. "We just had this amazing super bloom. You could go out to Montana de Oro and go out and look at all these poppies. We have some magnificent scenery here. And it's easy to get to. We’re right in between LA and San Francisco.”

In 2022, tourism provided $116 million in local tax revenue. Without the tax generated by tourism, each local household would need to pay an additional $1,929 in taxes to maintain a similar level of community support, according to the countywide Destination Marketing and Management Organization for San Luis Obispo County.

Additionally, each household would need to spend $20,152 to create the same economic impact for local businesses.

“It allows us to have less impact in the community but still redeem the rewards that we need in the economic impact that travel makes," Davison added.