City council member Dan Carpenter said part of the city’s success has been the recognition it receives from Cal Poly, as well as the high quality of life within San Luis Obispo.
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San Luis Obispo has been receiving more national media coverage, and, as a result, tourism has significantly increased within this past year.
Recently, the San Francisco Chronicle began a series of destination articles about San Luis Obispo and the city’s many attractions. This coverage — combined with other articles from across the country — has been putting the city on the map.
Based on San Luis Obispo’s estimated economic impact, tourism in the past year has increased, said Erica Davis, marketing assistant and event coordinator at Visit San Luis Obispo County.
Economic growth in the city has also been shown through the Milken Institute’s Index of Best-Performing Cities in the country, where it received 25th place, an 81-place change since its ranking of 106th in 2012. This is also the first time the city has been ranked in the top 25 since 2003.
Davis said because San Luis Obispo’s No. 1 tourist is the drive market, the city promotes overnight stay and festivals such as Sunset Savor the Central Coast, a four-day food and wine festival.
“This festival is a good draw because it hits the top three tourism drives: usable coastlines, cultural aspects — such as Hearst Castle — and our foodie destinations,” Davis said.
Davis said part of her company’s strategic planning for the future is to establish San Luis Obispo as a premier destination on the Central Coast and to accelerate the city’s competitiveness.
In addition to this, Davis said the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport is trying to create more hubs to draw more international and national flights to the region, making it easier for travelers to get to the city.
Featured in the Chronicle’s section were articles about the restaurants, activities and attractions in the city.
The section is part of a series featuring other cities, such as Monterey and Santa Cruz, said Barbara Belanyi, retail sales manager at the San Francisco Chronicle. She said the Chronicle has been successful with these sections and is pleasantly surprised. The newspaper plans on doing another San Luis Obispo section in July.
In addition, San Luis Obispo has also been covered in Travel and Leisure’s “Best College Towns” list, earning third place. The city has also been called the “happiest city in America” by author Dan Buettner, as well as one of the friendliest towns in America by USA Today and Rand McNally’s Best of the Road competition.
Higuera Street was also named one of America’s best main streets by Fodor’s Travel this past week.
City Council member Dan Carpenter said part of the city’s success has been the recognition it receives from Cal Poly, as well as the high-quality life within San Luis Obispo.
“The city focuses on taking taxpayers’ money and putting it back to promote the community,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter said the city spends a lot of money to get people here, to gain recognition and focus on the quality of life.
Mayor Jan Marx agrees with Carpenter on the reasons for the city’s success, and mentioned being named on of the happiest cities in North America is a factor as well.
“A lot of the people that visit are interested in coming to the county, such as Pismo Beach and Paso Robles,” Marx said. “And we are in the center.”