In recognition of travel and tourism's tremendous economic, social and cultural impact in San Luis Obispo County, the San Luis Obispo County Visitors and Conference Bureau will host an annual celebration of travel and tourism in the U.S. and San Luis Obispo County. This event will honor the U.S. Travel Association's National Tourism Week and SLO County Tourism Month by bringing awareness to one of the area's largest and most successful sectors.

A tradition first celebrated in 1984, National Tourism Week was established when the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution designating a week to champion the power of travel at the beginning of May. In a White House ceremony, President Ronald Reagan signed a Presidential Proclamation urging citizens to observe the week with "the appropriate ceremonies and activities."

SLO County has adopted this tradition for the entire month of May to recognize the enormous impact that travel and tourism have on the area. Moreover, all eight of the county's incorporated cities and areas have officially proclaimed their support for SLO County Tourism Month, including the Board of Supervisors.

"Travel is a force in America's economy that is simply too important to ignore. It's responsible for employing one out of every nine Americans, more people than other giants like the insurance or automotive industries," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the umbrella organization representing the U.S. travel industry.

Travel and tourism generated $1.8 trillion in economic output for the U.S. economy in 2010. The industry also represents one of America's largest employers, supporting 14.1 million jobs (including 7.4 million directly in the travel industry and 6.7 million in related industries). Direct spending by domestic and international travelers averaged $2 billion per day - that's $86.6 million per hour, $1.4 million per minute or $24,000 per second.

According to the proclamations made by SLO County's eight incorporated cities and Board of Supervisors:
• Travel and tourism ranks as the largest industry in San Luis Obispo County in terms of revenue generated
• In 2010 alone, San Luis Obispo County attracted over 2.3 million visitors who contributed over $1 billion directly to the economy in the county
• This significant contribution enhances the revenue stream that supports countywide interests and initiatives

Also included in the proclamation is recognition of Sunset's SAVOR the Central Coast - a four-day destination food and wine festival - as a major contributor to the County's tourism success. "The Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast event will take place September 29 through October 2, 2011 throughout San Luis Obispo County, highlighting the beauty and bounty of our region to visitors and locals alike leaving behind an economic impact of several million dollars," said Noreen Martin, President, San Luis Obispo Visitors & Conference Bureau. This acknowledgment is especially timely given the fact that SAVOR tickets go on sale Thursday, May 5th. (For information, visit

The San Luis Obispo County Visitors and Conference Bureau promotes San Luis Obispo County through advertising, marketing, public relations and group sales. Its member base is comprised of over 500 tourism industry-related businesses including lodging properties, restaurants, wineries, golf courses and retail stores. We invite you to visit the SLOCVCB website at: