WEATHER »

Santa Barbara Tourism Outlook Is Good

Annual Meeting Shows Importance of Millennials, Introduces “Goleta Coast”


Tourism in Santa Barbara is up 31 percent, the future looks stunningly bright, attracting millennials will be key to sustaining growth, and the Goleta Valley will henceforth refer to itself as the “Goleta Coast.” Such were the highlights of Monday morning’s 2015 Travel Outlook, a breakfast gathering put on annually by the Visit Santa Barbara tourism board.

Peter Yesawich, of MMGY Global, delivered the morning’s most interesting talk, explaining how the tourism industry must continue to accommodate the 77 million boomers while also preparing for the 82 million travel-happy millennials. Since the Great Recession, Yesawich explained, “We have never seen a more positive outlook,” yet he warned that people were now interested in “the new frugal” and want to feel like they’re getting deals.

That was followed by a panel with heads of Downtown Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, and the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, whose executive director Kristen Miller revealed that, as the result of a marketing study, “We’re going to be bold and refer to ourselves as the Goleta Coast.”

The final offering was a discussion on growing occupancy rates and other trends between Tom Patton of the Ramada Limited Santa Barbara and Bruce Baltin of PKF Consulting, who said that the trend of less flights to the Santa Barbara Airport is “somewhat disturbing” and that there is “certainly opportunities for new hotels” in the Santa Ynez Valley, especially near Lompoc.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

City Amends Charter Concerning Council Vacancies

The proposed amendment concerning elections must be approved by Santa Barbara voters.

Garden and Haley Closed for Emergency Sewer Repair

Northbound Garden Street closed between Haley and Cota streets.

Former Supervisor Tom Urbanske Dies

He had stayed active in community nonprofits benefitting those in need.

Hollister Ranch Settles with State to Provide Limited Public Access

A beach at Cuarto Canyon will be accessible by sea, and educational programs will expand.

School Safety Focus of Ongoing Workshops

Santa Barbara Unified will host parent meetings for next several months.