Oceanside, Calif.- May 29, 2019— Tourism continues to be on an upward trend in Oceanside. According to a 2018 study by Dean Runyan Associates, Oceanside has seen a consistent increase in visitors, travel spending and travel industry employment over the last eight years with 2018 reaching record highs. Recent statistics from the study were shared at Visit Oceanside’s ninth annual Tourism Summit held at the city’s historic Brooks Theater this morning.
“It’s an exciting time for our industry as well as our community because the increases in visitor spending and tax revenues also help support infrastructure improvements, beautification and important amenities that our local residents enjoy,” said Leslee Gaul, CEO of Visit Oceanside.
Visitor spending in Oceanside in 2018 was $382 million, representing a 6 percent increase from 2017. The visitor spending directly supported more than 3,500 jobs in Oceanside with tourism industry employment increasing at an average annual rate of 3.9 percent since 2010.
Visitor spending on lodging in 2018 totaled $276 million, nearly double the amount from 2010 and a 5 percent increase from 2017. This generated a record high in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) that exceeded $7.9 million. The City of Oceanside uses TOT funds to support essential city services including parks, recreation and public safety. The study also noted that the largest portion of visitor dollars are spent on food service, which continues to align with the popularity of the city’s burgeoning dining scene in recent years.
While continued growth remains a top priority in coming years, Visit Oceanside is shifting its focus to put an increased emphasis on responsible growth in the coming year. This sustainable tourism approach will drive a variety of initiatives from growing demand midweek and during shoulder seasons, to supporting the diversification of product offerings, especially in areas of the city that don’t traditionally attract a large tourism audience. Expanding support for community programs such as environmental and preservation programs and youth scholarships are other ways Visit Oceanside will share what it calls a “tourism cares” approach to destination marketing.
“Smart tourism growth is a priority for the Visit Oceanside Board of Directors,” said Gaul. “As a major revenue generator for the city’s general fund, tourism is a key factor in helping the city enhance the quality of life for residents through public safety, parks, recreation and other services. Our goal is to continue to positively impact the quality of life in Oceanside by growing tax-generating revenues all year versus adding more leisure in the already busy summer months. This can help mitigate stress on our coastal and city resources so that Oceanside remains a treasured destination as well as a great place to live for years to come.”
In addition to sharing tourism trends, the Oceanside Tourism Summit included a presentation from Visit California’s CEO Caroline Beteta and the traditional kickoff to summer from Oceanside Mayor Peter Weiss. Visit Oceanside acknowledged several local industry champions with awards and presented its annual scholarship to a deserving MiraCosta College hospitality student. Recipients included:
• Hospitality Partner of the Year: Matthew Higgins, The Fin Boutique Hotel
• Industry Partner of the Year: Mike Vetter, Go Jump Oceanside
• Local Tourism Champions of the Year: City of Oceanside Water Utilities Department— Cari Dale, Rosemarie Chora, Teresa Gomez, Ronald Lutge
• California Welcome Center Volunteer of the Year: Jeanne Tryby
• Mira Costa College Hospitality Scholarship Award: Mark Fleming
Visit Oceanside is the sales and marketing engine for Oceanside’s tourism industry. Through distinctive branding, cooperative marketing opportunities, group sales initiatives and public relations strategies, Visit Oceanside promotes travel to the city to visitors travelling for both leisure and business.
Visit Oceanside also operates one of the state’s official California Welcome Centers. With just one stop, visitors can find local, regional and state maps, purchase discount tickets to major Southern California attractions, make hotel reservations or shop for the perfect California keepsake. The Visit Oceanside CVB and California Welcome Center- Oceanside are conveniently located just off Interstate 5 at 928 North Coast Highway. For more information, please call (800) 350-7873 or visit www.visitoceanside.org