Visit San Luis Obispo County partnered with the U.S. Travel Association to celebrate National Tourism Week, May 4-12, 2013 and quantify its impact on the local community. Tourism is currently the number one industry in San Luis Obispo County with visitor spending totaling $1.2 billion in 2011. Industry earnings generated by travel and tourism spending reached $405 million, which generated $79 million of direct tax receipts supporting San Luis Obispo County. Tourism employs 15,570 persons in San Luis Obispo County. Jobs range from entry level to head of household in tourism, including accommodations and food service to arts, entertainment and recreation to retail and transportation. Tourism keeps San Luis Obispo County’s local communities economically viable.

Visit San Luis Obispo County, the destination marketing organization for the county works to position, brand and promote San Luis Obispo County as a choice destination for regional, national, and global visitors. Visit San Luis Obispo County has been active for 29 years.

Creating a strong national identity for San Luis Obispo County, Visit San Luis Obispo County in partnership with Sunset Magazine will present Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast, September 26-29, 2013. This annual event attracted nearly 10,000 food and wine lovers to celebrate the Central Coast lifestyle in 2012. Attendance numbers were up 11% over 2011 and saw guests from 23 states in addition to California and San Luis Obispo County. Revenues from the four-day event boosted the local economy by $3.58 million, a 22% increase over 2011, reflecting a third consecutive year of growth.

For a chance to win tickets to the 2013 event please visit their Facebook page to enter the sweepstakes.

Tourism is important to the national economy. Travel and tourism generated $2 trillion in economic output for the U.S. economy in 2012. The industry also represents one of America’s largest employers, supporting 14.6 million jobs, including 7.7 million directly in the travel industry and 6.9 million in other industries. Direct spending by domestic and international travelers averaged $2.3 billion a day, $97.7 million an hour, $1.6 million a minute and $25,125 a second.

“Travel is a force that can drive our nation’s economic recovery. It is one of the healthiest sectors of our economy in terms of job creation and hiring, employing one out of every eight Americans,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the umbrella organization representing the U.S. travel industry.