Tourism Brings a Record $351 Million to Oceanside in 2017
Tourism continues on an upward trend in Oceanside according to Visit Oceanside, which shared its most recent industry statistics at the organization’s 8th Annual Tourism Summit held at the city’s historic Star Theatre on May 16, 2018.
Mirroring recent trends reported by Visit California, Oceanside has seen a consistent increase in visitors, travel spending and travel industry employment over the last seven years with 2017 reaching record highs. According to the most recent study by Dean Runyan Associates, visitor spending in Oceanside in 2017 was $351 million, representing a 10.1 percent increase from 2016. The visitor spending directly supported more than 3,300 jobs in Oceanside with tourism industry employment in the city increasing at an average annual rate of 5.1 percent since 2010.
“The end of the recession has certainly helped tourism growth, but even more impactful in attracting visitors to our city is the combination of a flourishing food and brew scene, compelling cultural offerings and exciting recreational offerings that continue to push the limits in fun,” said Leslee Gaul, CEO of Visit Oceanside.
Visitor spending on hotel rooms in 2017 totaled $240 million, nearly double the amount from 2010 and 11 percent increase from 2016. This generated a record high in TOT tax, exceeding $7 million to help support vital 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 reflects the popularity of the city’s burgeoning dining scene in recent years.
In addition to sharing tourism trends, the Tourism Summit included the traditional kickoff to summer. Oceanside Mayor Peter Weiss put his own spin on the tradition by playing a medley of popular songs on the guitar.
At the event, Visit Oceanside acknowledged several local industry champions with awards and presented its annual scholarship to a deserving MiraCosta College hospitality student. Recipients included:
- Collaboration of the Year: City of Oceanside team members— Deanna Lorson, Assistant City Manager; Russ Cunningham, Principal Planner; Rob Dmohowski, Associate Planner; and Tracey Bohlen, Economic Development Manager — were acknowledged for their contributions in creating a strategic vision for agritourism in Oceanside.
- Industry Partner of the Year: Arthur Escobar, Oceanside Boat Rentals
- Local Tourism Champions of the Year: Patrick Young, City of Oceanside Parks and Recreation and Ken and Brenda Derr, American Legion Riders
- California Welcome Center Volunteer of the Year: Donna Smith
- Mira Costa College Hospitality Scholarship Award: Carla Pullum
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. Visit Oceanside’s current “Respect the O’riginals” marketing campaign was recently recognized by the advertising community for its creativity and originality with several ADDY awards.