Why Tourism Matters
May 4, 2023 (Paso Robles, Calif.) – To mark National Travel and Tourism Week (May 7-13, 2023) and California Tourism Month, Travel Paso, the nonprofit marketing organization whose mission is to promote tourism, is pleased to announce another record-breaking year for tourist-generated lodging tax revenues.
National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) and California Tourism Month are annual traditions that celebrate the essential role of travel in stimulating economic growth. In 2022, Paso Robles saw a 40% increase in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) over the previous fiscal year, totaling $9.8 million in revenue from visiting travelers.
“Thanks to our award-winning wines and our collective efforts to generate awareness about the Paso Robles destination, visitors continue to choose Paso,” said Alex Villicana, Travel Paso’s Board Chair.
“Our diverse ecosystem of businesses including wineries, distilleries, breweries, restaurants, art galleries and retail keep guests coming back. Once a visitor discovers Paso they return, which supports our local economy and creates a quality of life for all residents to enjoy.”
In celebration of NTTW and California Tourism Month, the Paso Robles City Council honored Travel Paso with a proclamation at Tuesday's Council meeting in recognition of the contributions that tourism makes to the local economy.
Tourism by the Numbers
Tourist lodging revenues are gathered through TOT, which is billed to guests at every hotel, RV resort and short-term rental. The TOT revenues supplement the City’s General Fund and are used to support a host of Paso Robles City services, including parks and recreation, the library, road improvements, and the police and fire departments.
Over nineteen months beginning March 2021 through September 2022, Paso Robles experienced month over month TOT growth. Three times during that stretch the region reached over $1 million in a single month. While this pace has leveled, tourists continue to make Paso Robles their choice destination as fiscal year 2023 is on pace to meet and exceed the previous year.
Tourism at the county and state levels also continues to thrive. In 2022, SLO CAL’s tourism industry earned $865 million. Travel spending in SLO CAL reached $2.15 billion and created $116 million in local tax revenue.
According to a recent annual economic impact report by Dean Runyan Associates, visitors to California spent $134.4 billion in 2022, bringing the state 93% of the way back to pre-pandemic levels.
Why Travel Matters
Travel serves as a catalyst for a productive economy through job creation, funding for city services, and enhancing the quality of life for all Paso Roblans. Tourists historically spend more than $355 million each year when visiting Paso Robles and tourism comprises 9.78% of SLO CAL’s gross domestic product. These dollars support local businesses owned and staffed by our neighbors and community members.
Tourism employs 22,480 SLO CAL residents every day, with one in five jobs in Paso Robles directly related to tourism, from wineries and restaurants to professional services and lodging.
“Tourism supports local business growth and provides jobs to our residents,” said Stacie Jacob, Travel Paso’s President and CEO. “Travel is at the heart of our region, powering a strong economy and strengthening our community’s culture and identity.”