Media Contact:

Mayla Lohnes, Public Relations Manager







SLO CAL leads the way in visitor spending on the central coast,

having returned to pre-pandemic numbers


Announcement coincides with U.S. Travel Association’s

National Travel and Tourism Week and aligns with California Tourism Month


San Luis Obispo County, California, May 16, 2024 – Today, in celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), Visit SLO CAL, the official destination marketing and management organization (DMMO) for San Luis Obispo County (SLO CAL) announced that tourism has reached $2.32 billion in direct travel spending in SLO CAL, marking a consistent performance from the previous year. This is a significant achievement for SLO CAL, which is leading the way in visitor spending on the central coast.


In 2023, tourism in SLO CAL generated a significant $60.1 million in transient occupancy tax revenue. Tourism in SLO CAL puts 22,830 residents to work each day, marking a 2% year over year (YOY) increase and encompasses various sectors including lodging, food service, arts, entertainment, recreation, ground transportation, wineries, breweries, distilleries and more.


“We are thrilled to highlight the positive impact of tourism in SLO CAL as we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week and California Tourism Month,” said Cathy Cartier, Interim President & CEO of Visit SLO CAL. “Tourism stands as the second-largest economic driver in SLO CAL, following agriculture, and plays a pivotal role in enabling success across all industries by fostering sales growth and innovation, supporting education and facilitating operations that power our economy, nation and community.”


In 2023, tourism also contributed $110 million in local tax revenue. Without the tax revenue generated by tourism, each local household would need to pay an additional $21,415 to create the same economic benefit for the community. Furthermore, each household would need to spend an additional $1,914 in taxes to create the same economic impact for local businesses.


Cartier continues, “Tourism in SLO CAL strengthens local businesses, contributes to community preservation and creates thousands of jobs. We are pleased with the consistent performance of tourism in visitor spending in SLO CAL.”


Other notable metrics achieved in 2023 include:


  • Tourism in SLO CAL generated $207 million in state & local taxes
  • Tourism in SLO CAL comprises of 10.66% of countywide GDP
  • SLO CAL’s tourism industry earnings (total after-tax net income for travel including wages and salary disbursements) $912 million. This is an increase of 5.9% YOY


This announcement coincides with the U.S. Travel Association’s NTTW celebrated from May 19-25, 2024. This annual tradition recognizes the vital role travel plays in stimulating economic growth, fostering vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, inspiring new businesses and enhancing the quality of life for Americans.


NTTW aligns with California Tourism Month, a bipartisan declaration established in 2016 for the month of May. Through this annual designation, the state-wide travel organization, Visit California relies on in-state tourism partners, such as Visit SLO CAL, to emphasize the importance of collective resiliency and resolve in shaping a more efficient, innovative and sustainable travel industry.


As the official DMMO for SLO CAL, Visit SLO CAL values its investors, partners and stakeholders and the diverse communities comprising SLO CAL, including Nipomo, Grover Beach, Oceano, Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, Shell Beach, Avila Beach, Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo, Los Osos/Baywood Park, Morro Bay, Cayucos, Cambria, Harmony, Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero, Creston, Shandon, Cholame, San Miguel, Santa Margarita, Pozo, San Simeon and Ragged Point.


For more information about Visit SLO CAL, visit or email Mayla Lohnes,





Visit SLO CAL is the countywide non-profit destination marketing and management organization (DMMO) for San Luis Obispo County (SLO CAL). Visit SLO CAL is responsible for promoting SLO CAL as an attractive travel destination and enhancing the public image as a dynamic place to live and work. Through the impact of travel, Visit SLO CAL strengthens the economic position and provides opportunity for all people in the community. Built on research with a strategy of continuous improvement, Visit SLO CAL aims to establish SLO CAL as a favorite West Coast destination known for its signature slower pace of life and unique mix of incredible, immersive guest experiences. For more information, go to



South of the Bay and north of LA, SLO CAL (San Luis Obispo County) is conveniently located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It features more than 100 miles of breathtaking coastline and expansive vineyards covering over 40,000 acres. The area’s scenic open roads are beyond compare and its stretch of Highway 1 is an unforgettable journey through some of California's most captivating coastal landscapes. For more information, go to 



National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) is an annual tradition to celebrate the U.S. travel community and travel’s essential role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, inspiring new businesses and elevating the quality of life for Americans every day. 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 40th annual NTTW will spotlight the essential role that travel will play in driving economic growth and innovation through the theme #TravelForward. For more information, go to



Celebrated annually in May, California Tourism Month is an official state observance first designated by the Legislature in 2016 and re-authorized in subsequent years to spotlight the economic power of tourism across California communities and urges citizens to support tourism and local businesses by traveling in state as an act of civic pride. California Tourism Month also serves as a reminder to lawmakers that tourism doesn’t just happen but requires concerted marketing and favorable policies. For more information, go to