2019 Oceanside Tourism Summit
TOURISM BRINGS A RECORD $382 MILLION TO OCEANSIDE IN 2018; SUPPORTING JOB GROWTH FOR THE EIGHTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR
Visit Oceanside Focuses on Responsible Tourism Initiatives to Support Future Growth
Excitement was in the air during the ninth annual Oceanside Tourism Summit held at the city’s historic Brooks Theatre on May 29th. Tourism continues to be on an upward trend in Oceanside. According to a 2018 study by Dean Runyan Associates, Oceanside has seen a consistent increase in visitors, travel spending and travel industry employment over the last eight years with 2018 reaching record highs.
“It’s an exciting time for our industry as well as our community because the increases in visitor spending and tax revenues also help support infrastructure improvements, beautification and important amenities that our local residents enjoy,” said Leslee Gaul, CEO of Visit Oceanside.
Visitor spending in Oceanside in 2018 was $382 million, representing a 6 percent increase from 2017. The visitor spending directly supported more than 3,500 jobs in Oceanside with tourism industry employment increasing at an average annual rate of 3.9 percent since 2010.
Visitor spending on lodging in 2018 totaled $276 million, nearly double the amount from 2010 and a 5 percent increase from 2017. This generated a record high in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) that exceeded $7.9 million. The City of Oceanside uses TOT funds to support essential city services including parks, recreation and public safety. The study also noted that the largest portion of visitor dollars are spent on food service, which continues to align with the popularity of the city’s burgeoning dining scene in recent years.
Welcome from Mayor Weiss, O’side Dreamin
2018 Year-End Review
While continued growth remains a top priority in coming years, Visit Oceanside is shifting its focus to put an increased emphasis on responsible growth in the coming year. This sustainable tourism approach will drive a variety of initiatives from growing demand midweek and during shoulder seasons, to supporting the diversification of product offerings, especially in areas of the city that don’t traditionally attract a large tourism audience. Expanding support for community programs such as environmental and preservation programs and youth scholarships are other ways Visit Oceanside will share what it calls a “tourism cares” approach to destination marketing.
“Smart tourism growth is a priority for the Visit Oceanside Board of Directors,” said Gaul. “As a major revenue generator for the city’s general fund, tourism is a key factor in helping the city enhance the quality of life for residents through public safety, parks, recreation and other services. Our goal is to continue to positively impact the quality of life in Oceanside by growing tax-generating revenues all year versus adding more leisure in the already busy summer months. This can help mitigate stress on our coastal and city resources so that Oceanside remains a treasured destination as well as a great place to live for years to come.”
In addition to sharing tourism trends, the Oceanside Tourism Summit included a presentation from Visit California’s CEO Caroline Beteta and the traditional kickoff to summer from Oceanside Mayor Peter Weiss. Visit Oceanside acknowledged several local industry champions with awards and presented its annual scholarship to a deserving MiraCosta College hospitality student. Recipients included:
- Hospitality Partner of the Year: Matthew Higgins, The Fin Boutique Hotel
- Industry Partner of the Year: Mike Vetter, Go Jump Oceanside
- Local Tourism Champions of the Year: City of Oceanside Water Utilities Department— Cari Dale, Rosemarie Chora, Teresa Gomez, Ronald Lutge
- California Welcome Center Volunteer of the Year: Jeanne Tryby
- MiraCosta College Hospitality Scholarship Award: Mark Fleming
- Rock Stars: Visit Oceanside Executive Board; Geoffrey Parkford, Holiday Inn Marina; Scott Hausknecht, Courtyard by Marriott/Residence Inn by Marriott; Nayan Patel, Days Inn Oceanside; and Stormi Posch, Springhill Suites Marriott.
Visit Oceanside is the sales and marketing engine for Oceanside’s tourism industry. Through distinctive branding, cooperative marketing opportunities, group sales initiatives and public relations strategies, Visit Oceanside promotes travel to the city to visitors travelling for both leisure and business.