Travel Spending in SLO CAL Reached $1.78B in 2021, Rivaling Pre-Pandemic Numbers

San Luis Obispo County, California – May 1, 2022 – As tourism across the country and the world continues to gain speed, Visit SLO CAL, is celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week May 1-7, 2022, by highlighting how well the destination has done over its competitive set, in both funding and community impact. Throughout the pandemic, SLO CAL (San Luis Obispo County) performed better in almost every category against competing regions. SLO CAL’s wide-open spaces and a kaleidoscope of cultures were a welcome respite for those seeking time outside of dense cities.

“The desirability of SLO CAL continues to increase due to the wide range of diverse experiences we offer travelers,” said Chuck Davison, President and CEO of Visit SLO CAL. “Along with the support of our investors, valued partners and stakeholders, Visit SLO CAL is energized by stronger lodging occupancy, rates and revenue seen even pre-pandemic. National Travel & Tourism Week gives us an opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come and have yet to go.”

In 2022, interest in traveling to SLO CAL increased yet again. County-wide Average Daily Rate (ADR), RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) and lodging Occupancy continue to outperform metrics enjoyed pre-pandemic. These record-setting results translate into direct economic benefits and quality of life for residents. Metrics of note for the 2021 calendar year are as follows:

  • Travel spending in SLO CAL created $1.78B in direct economic impact*
  • Tourism puts 19,760 people to work every day*
  • Tourism comprises 8.82% of SLO CAL’s countywide GDP**
  • SLO CAL’s tourism industry earned $760M*
  • Without the state and local revenue generated by travel and tourism, each SLO CAL household would need to pay an additional $1,751 in taxes***
  • Without tourism, each SLO CAL household would need to spend an additional $16,753 annually to create the same economic benefit for the community***

Additionally, Visit SLO CAL’s advocacy program aims to increase awareness and create a unified tourism voice for SLO CAL and its industry partners among the general public, community leaders and stakeholders, while sharing the economic impact and quality of life enhancements that tourism contributes to the region. To that end, Visit SLO CAL will continue to ensure the tourism industry’s voice is represented on issues that matter to the community of investors, partners and stakeholders and that the industry’s views are considered when decisions impact the local travel and tourism industry.

National Travel and Tourism Week coincides with California Tourism Month, a bipartisan declaration established in 2016 for the month of May. With the annual designation, Visit California relies on in-state tourism partners, such as Visit SLO CAL, to continue recognizing the future of travel hinges on a collective resiliency and resolve to create a more efficient, innovative and sustainable industry. For more information about Visit SLO CAL, visit

*Source: Dean Runyan, Inc./Visit SLO CAL

**Tourism Economics/Visit SLO CAL/County of San Luis Obispo

*** Source: Dean Runyan, Inc./Visit SLO CAL/US Census Bureau


About National Travel and Tourism Week

National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) recognizes the “Future of Travel” and the industry’s role in bringing back our vibrant communities, restoring the U.S. economy, rebuilding our workforce and reconnecting America. Celebrated annually the first full week of May, NTTW was created by Congress in 1983 to elevate the economic power of travel in the U.S. The 38th annual NTTW arrives at an opportune moment to recognize the importance to the U.S. economy in initiating post-pandemic travel recovery. Please visit to learn more about National Travel and Tourism Week.