Tourism is a $2.8 billion industry in Monterey County


AITLIN CONRAD IS LIVE IN MONTEREY WITH TONIGHT’S TOP STORY. CAITLIN: ERIN, PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD COME TO MONTEREY TO VACATION, BUT FEWER HAVE BEEN COMING IN 2017, AND THE TORS AND EURO GIRL IS WORRIED ABOUT THE NUMBERS FOR THE YEAR. — AND THAT TOURISM BUREAU IS WORRIED ABOUT THE NUMBERS FOR THE YEAR.>>THIS SUMMER IS A QUESTION MARK FOR US REALLY. CAITLIN: TAMMY BLOUNT SAYS TOURISM HAS TAKEN A HIT IN 2017 BECAUSE OF DAMAGE FROM WINTER STORMS, AND THAT IS BAD NEWS FOR THE PENINSULA’S LARGEST INDUSTRY.>>TOURISM IN MONTEREY COUNTY IN 2016 PRODUCED $2.8 BILLION IN VISITOR SPENDING. CAITLIN: THE INDUSTRY PROVID 25,000 JOBS AND GENERATES $750 PER HOUSEHOLD IN TAX REVENUE, BUT THE HIGHWAY 1 CLOSURE IN BIG SUR HAS SLOWED THINGS DOWN.>>YOU CAN GET AS FAR DOWN AS THE RANGER STATION, WHICH IS RIGHT HERE.>>I THINK IT IS MORE ABOUT THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL VISITOR, THIS CARMEL AND BIG S ARE ON THEIR BUCKET LIST. WHEN THEY HEAR THAT BIG SUR IS CLOSED THEY GO, “OH, WE WILL GO NEXT YEAR.” CAITLIN: MONTA POTTER WITH THE CARMEL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SAYS THE CLOSURE HASN’T JUST IMPACTED BIG SUR BUSINESSES. IT’S AFFECTED MONTEREY AND CARMEL, TOO.>>JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH WERE DIFFICULT FOR THE BUSINESSES. CAITLIN: THE VISITOR’S BUREAU SAYS A BIG PART OF THE PROBLEM IS THE IMPRESSION THAT ALL OF BIG SUR IS CLOSED, AND THE NON-PROFIT IS INVESTING $100,000 TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT THAT PARTS OF IT ARE OPEN.>>MAKE SURE TO DO EVERYTHING THAT WE CAN TO MAKE SURE THAT VISITORS AND LOCALS KNOW THAT THERE ARE BUSINESSES IN BIG SUR THAT ARE OPEN. CAITLIN: THE NUMBERS FROM THE STATE ON TOURISM ALSO CAME OUT TODAY, AND IT WAS UP 3.1% ACROSS CALIFORNIA, BUT IN MONTERE COUNTY WE BEAT THAT NUMBER WITH 3.7% IN GROWTH AND THE VISITORS BUREAU IS DOING ALL IT CAN TO KEEP PACE. ERIN: 2016 MARKED THE SIXTH STRAIGHT YEAR OF GROWTH IN

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