Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau (VVCB) is proud to announce another successful summer for tourism in Ventura and more and more people discover our little piece of paradise on the Central Coast.
This summer, VVCB’s Visitors Center staff and volunteers welcomed over 8,000 visitors from 35 different countries and five different continents -an exciting feat at a time when other visitor centers are decreasing in visitation and some even closing.
The Visitors Center also continues to enjoy record retail sales which have quadrupled since 2012. Tourists and locals alike come to the Visitors Center to find Ventura-inspired gifts, souvenirs, apparel and more featuring 35 local vendors.
This summer, VVCB continued its support of community events in Ventura. The Visitors Center served as a venue for the Artwalk and sold tickets for the Ventura County Fair which complimented by beautiful weather, brought over 318,000 through its gates. “The biggest party of the summer was a phenomenal success not just in terms of numbers but in terms of smiles and happy fair-goers” said Ventura County Fairgrounds CEO/Executive Director, Barbara Quaid.
VVCB also worked on partnerships for conferences and group events that potentially generated an estimated economic impact of over $3 million this summer, and partnered with an array of travel writers from Dubai, Brazil and across the USA.
VVCB’s following has grown by 11,000 people since last year for a total of 40,000 social media fans. VVCB’s website has quickly become its number one marketing asset with over 200,000 visitors to the site this summer with top visitors from the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Russia, and Brazil.
At our hotels, our summer occupancy rate averaged 90 percent on weekends, up 2.5 percent from the same time last year, and our year-to-date occupancy rate is still growing and currently up 1.7 per cent from last year. “Great partnerships and terrific weather in Ventura led to best summer on record for the Ventura Beach Marriott!” said Ventura Beach Marriott General Manager, Shannon Hillygus.
Numbers also show that 2014 was a fantastic year for tourism in Ventura. In 2014, tourism expenditures on lodging, retail goods, meals and beverages and other taxable items brought an estimated $261 million. Of special significance is the tourism industry’s $4.7 million contribution generated through the hotels’ Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT). Without the funds collected through this tax, every Ventura resident would have to spend an additional $2,400 in annual taxes to maintain the same level of services the City of Ventura currently provides.
“We are looking forward to collaborating with our local, regional and state partners to keep the momentum going and top our success next year. We have no doubt tourism will continue to grow in and benefit Ventura, especially given rekindled community pride through upcoming celebrations for Ventura’s 150th anniversary.” said VVCB Executive Director and Central Coast Tourism Council President, Marlyss Auster.