Just like all other industries and professions, Santa Barbara County also has suffered a lot due to the pandemic situation of Covid-19. However, it doesn’t stand still and has worked hard to attract visitors. 

The CEO of a travel website said, “As we all are aware of the consequences of getting infected from Covid-19; therefore, no one wants to get infectious. However, the bitter reality is, we can see our people striving for life after the shutdown of their local tourism business.”

Almost all the sectors are badly affected due to this pandemic situation. All the restaurants, retail stores, the hospitality industry, and much more suffered a lot. Many people have lost their jobs in the hospitality industry after the orders of “stay-at-home” by the government. It is a major reason that many well-known hotels in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara have dramatically decreased their rates.

Santa Maria has somehow managed its residency rate up to 60%, but it is around 30% less than the rate that the hotel has previously in the same months of 2019. After the opening of leisure travel, Santa Barbara has somehow improved the hotel’s performance. The hotel has reached to the 45% residency rate in the previous week. However, it is nearly half of the rate that was in these days of 2019. In other words, the hotels are losing around 13K guests almost every week.

It is an alarming situation for many people who entirely depend on this occupation for their survival. Typically, summers are a good season for many hotels to compensate for the slow business that they have to bear in the winters. Also, as the occupancy tax is one of the main sources of revenue for the city and country, it is bad news for the overall economic state. Previously, the annual spending of visitors generated handsome yearly tax revenue which was around $56 million for the South Coast.

 Before the outbreak of Covid-19, Santa Barbara was supporting more than 13K jobs in the hotel that comprises of clerks, restaurant servers, bartenders, and other crew members. The management has continued its efforts even after the outbreak. 

After the “stay-at-home” orders, Santa Maria halted its efforts to attract tourists but now plan to continue with the recovery efforts for a while. According to travelers, Santa Maria has lot of highly attracted tourists’ attractions due to many factors. Many people like their Santa Maria’s style barbecue, outdoor seating, and curbside pickup services. 

At the time of lockdown, both cities have started attracting customers for the outdoor activities that involve hiking and beaches. The CEO of a travel website said, “We have found that we can still attract customers for a safer environment that includes open spaces. It is one of the best options to let people enjoy without getting worried about the virus attack due to social distancing and many other factors. We have communicated our safety guidelines for the safety of our guests. Although Covid-19 has affected us badly and is extremely challenging somehow, we have to manage the risks, and we don’t see dealing with risks as a zero-sum recommendation between wellbeing and economy as positioned by few individuals”.

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