Monterey, CA…While the tourism industry was among the largest sectors hit hardest by the pandemic in 2020, Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau (Monterey County CVB) projects a positive outlook for recovery in the coming years as it celebrate California Tourism Month.
“While the impact of the last year was unlike anything we have seen in our lifetime, research shows that pent-up demand to return to travel is real and happening,” said Rob O’Keefe, president and CEO at Monterey County CVB. “We’re off to a great start with the launch of our national campaign, but we must remain aggressive because there are other destinations fighting hard to get travelers and the market won’t fully return for a few years.”
As the outlook for summer travel remains positive, Monterey County CVB has already begun its work on fueling the county’s economic recovery with its ‘Now is the Moment’ campaign. The campaign, which includes a multi-faceted media buy featuring a national TV spot with digital extensions on streaming devices and smart TVs, is the first step in its multi-year recovery plan.
“Having our destination brand visible on a national scale as travel begins to return will keep us competitive,” said Kevin Ellis, board chair at Monterey County CVB and general manager at Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa. “It’s the first step for us to drive overnight visitation, followed by focusing on bringing back group travelers and then international markets in the years to come.”
Industry research firm Tourism Economics projects domestic visitor spending in California will reach 76% of 2019 levels this year. In 2022, domestic spending will hit 94% of 2019 levels, and total visitor spending, including resurgent international travel, will hit 87%. However, the road to recovery will require continued collaboration from the tourism and hospitality community, residents, state and nation.
Monterey County, where tourism remains the second largest economic driver, saw a loss of $1.745 billion in travel spending in 2020, nearly a 54% decrease from the year prior. Employment numbers were also impacted at a job loss of 25% – a staggering one in four Monterey County hospitality workers. Many businesses are looking to rehire in the coming weeks to prepare for California’s June 15 reopening and anticipated pent-up travel demand, with a job fair planned on May 13.
“Hospitality jobs lost due to the pandemic have had a larger ripple effect that reaches far beyond our industry,” said Janine Chicourrat, chair of the Monterey County Hospitality Association and managing director at Portola Hotel & Spa. “As our tourism economy kicks in to gear, we continue to look to our community and travelers for support and patience as we work to bring our workforce back up to pre-pandemic levels. Welcoming back overnight travelers results in more jobs.”
Monterey County CVB continues to promote responsible travel to all visitors to ensure the destination remains a safe and sustainable place for residents, employees and travelers. The county’s COVID-19 case counts continue to remain low, with 61% of residents having received at least one dose of vaccinations.
To learn more about Monterey County CVB and responsible travel measures throughout the destination, visit www.SeeMonterey.com.
ABOUT MONTEREY COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
The Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau (Monterey County CVB) is a 501c6 non-profit organization that drives tourism for Monterey County. Tourism is the largest industry on the Monterey Peninsula and the second largest in the County. The MCCVB is a partnership of the hospitality community and local governments that aims to drive business growth through compelling marketing and targeted sales initiatives that maximize the benefits of tourism to its guests, members and the community. Travel spending in Monterey County was $3.24 billion in 2019. This $3.24 billion in visitor spending supported 27,120 jobs, contributed $296 million in total taxes and generated $153 million local tax dollars that directly benefited the community. For more information, visit www.SeeMonterey.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.