2022 Oceanside Tourism Summit


New hotels, top-notch dining scene drives Oceanside tourism recovery with visitor spending surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

The eleventh annual Oceanside Tourism Summit, held at the Sunshine Brooks Theater on May 24th, celebrated the recovery of Oceanside tourism and the rise in visitor spending beyond projections. According to a recent visitor industry survey by Dean Runyan Associates, 2021 visitor spending and tax revenues surpassed even pre-pandemic levels. Visitor spending benefits local businesses while tax revenues bolster the City of Oceanside’s general fund, which is critical to funding essential services such as public safety, parks, street improvements, homeless outreach and more.

“Oceanside is bursting with creativity and innovation on all levels, and the Dean Runyan data shows that this is really resonating with visitors,” says Leslee Gaul, CEO of Visit Oceanside. “Dining and accommodations showed significant gains in travel spending, which speaks to the exciting, continued growth in both of these sectors.”

In the last year, Oceanside welcomed the opening of two, new flagship beach resorts and several new chic boutique hotels. The dining scene also continued to create buzz with popular new venues from high-end dining like Matsu and Valle to specialty shops like High Pie at The Top Gun House.

According to the industry survey, all of Oceanside’s 2021 tourism economic metrics showed significant gains over 2020. Even more significant, many of the metrics also outperformed the record levels set in 2019, the benchmark for pre-Covid travel. And, although Oceanside hosted fewer visitors in 2021 than in 2019, those who visited spent more and stayed longer.

“Increased revenues and spending despite fewer visitors show that our focus on smart tourism growth is working,” says Gaul. “Visit Oceanside’s sustainable tourism approach is about reaching the quality visitor, who wants to immerse themselves in the destination and appreciates all it has to offer from dining to culture and recreation.”

Highlights in the report included:

  • Oceanside recovery has significantly outpaced statewide gains. While California’s overall travel industry increased 46 percent over 2020, Oceanside’s travel economy grew by 68 percent during the same period.
  • Travel spending in Oceanside was $507.5 million in 2021, up 68.1 percent from 2020 and a 7.3 percent increase from $419 million set in 2019.
  • Tax receipts generated by travel spending were $34.2 million, up 70.2 percent compared to 2020 and above the 2019 record of $26.8 million.
  • Travel spending in all categories was up with the restaurant industry registering the largest gain of $60.5 million over 2020, a 66.1 percent increase. Accommodations travel spending was $54 million more than 2020.
  • Direct travel-generated employment gained approximately 470 jobs, a 15.8 percent increase over 2020. Employment continues to be shy of 2019 levels by approximately 100 jobs.

Visit Oceanside shared details of the tourism survey at its recent 2022 Annual Tourism Summit held on May 24 at the Brooks Theatre. In keeping with tradition, Mayor Esther Sanchez tossed out a beach ball to kick off the summer season. Congressman Mike Levin and Visit California CEO Caroline Beteta spoke during the program, and Visit Oceanside presented its annual tourism awards. The awards included:

  • “Respect the O’riginals” Award:
    • Zell Dwelley, Beach Break Café
    • Charlie Anderson, Privateer Coal Fired Pizza/ Marketplace & Wine Bar
    • The Aldrich Family, The Brick Hotel
  • California Welcome Center Volunteer of the Year: Dot Raulston
  • Visit Oceanside Brand Partners of the Year: City of Oceanside
  • Lodging Partner of the Year: Tyler Garcia, The Seabird Resort/Mission Pacific Hotel
  • Local Champion For Tourism Impact: Genentech Oceanside
  • Industry Partner of the Year: Carla Mitroff, Oceanside Adventures
  • MiraCosta College Hospitality Scholarships: Ashlynn Luna and Isabella M. Moreno Arellano
Published: May 4, 2022

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