Marketing Research & Plans

Visit SLO CAL works in partnership with top research agencies to compile relevant tourism data that benefits our local industry. We use the information gathered to strategically craft our marketing plan, ensuring our dollars are reaching maximum impact in feeder markets. Please review the information below and feel free to share these studies and plans with your team. Please do not share this data outside your organization. 

Visit SLO CAL Business & Marketing Plans


Each year Visit SLO CAL develops an overview of our marketing strategy as an Annual Business and Marketing Plan, outlining the year ahead for sales, paid media (advertising), earned media (public relations), owned media (online content, collateral, and social media) and Film SLO CAL. Here, you'll also find information on our audience persona, target market, and branding strategies. 

View or download pdf versions of our current and previous marketing plans here: 

FY 2022 Business & Marketing Plan 

FY 2020/21 Business & Marketing PlanFY 2019/20 Business & Marketing PlanFY 2018/19 Marketing Plan | FY 2017/18 Marketing Plan
FY 2016/17 Marketing Plan | FY 2015/16 Marketing Plan


Marketing Research

VisaVue® Travel

Visit SLO CAL participates in Visit California's VisaVue® Travel data co-op for both domestic and international travelers to San Luis Obispo County. VisaVue® Reports offer key information on travelers and their spending habits by market segment and merchant category. These reports have been converted into a snapshot infographic form. Please note that due to certain legal stipulations, reports may not be shared or used in any official marketing documents. If you would like to use the information provided in this report, please contact us at 805.541.8000. 

Linked below are reports of the VisaVue®Travel Data for San Luis Obispo County, converted to a snapshot infographic form. Please note that the dates below refer to the calendar year:


Q1: Domestic | International

Q2: Domestic | International

Q3: Domestic | International

Q4: Domestic | International


Visitor Volume Reports

Since 2017, Visit SLO CAL has worked with Tourism Economics to produce quarterly SLO CAL visitor volume reports. Below are the links to these reports. Please note the quarters are on a calendar basis.

2019: Q1 | Q2 | Q3

2018: Q1 | Q2 | Q3 | Q4 | Year-End

2017: Year-End Visitor Volume & Economic Impact Report


Conference Center Feasibility Plan

In May 2017, Visit SLO CAL released a Countywide Conference Center Feasibility Plan, which was commissioned to determine how mid-week business travel may be impacted as a result of new conference facility inventory. The study indicates strong demand, and a growing market, for mid-week conference bookings during off-peak seasons in San Luis Obispo County.

Click here to view Visit SLO CAL's Conference Center Feasibility Plan.


Brand Lift Study

Visit SLO CAL has received the results of the first two waves of its Brand Lift Study. The three waves in the study provide a benchmark for awareness prior to the campaign. Wave 1 took place on July 7 - August 10, 2017, Wave 2 was conducted from Jan 23 -Feb 6, 2017, and Wave 3 was conducted June 27-July 30, 2018.

Wave 1 Report | Wave 2 ReportWave 3 Report


Southern California Lodging Forecast

In October 2019, Visit SLO CAL Director of Operations Brendan Pringle attended the 2019 Southern California Visitor Industry Outlook Conference in Garden Grove, CA, where he heard the latest forecasts from STR, Visit California, CBRE, and other presenters. At the conference, CBRE unveiled their 2020 Southern California Lodging Forecast, linked below. The document includes their forecast for San Luis Obispo County. 

2020 Southern California Lodging Forecast