Tom York on Business: Tourism Showing Signs of Life as California Recovers from COVID 

 April 30, 2022

SeaWorld San Diego New Attractions
A shot of diving into the Emperor, a new SeaWorld train. Photo: Screenshot, Sea World San Diego, via YouTube

Here is some good news to start this week’s column, a strong indication that conditions are starting to return to normal around here.

In terms of dollars, tourism – one of the anchors of the regional economy – increased by $ 32 billion in 2021 after falling in 2020, while the state was in tight control of the COVID-19 crisis.

This is according to a new study recently published by the State Tourism Authority in Sacramento. The reportprepared by a consulting company Dean Runyan Associates, detail the financial impact of direct tourism spending in California in 2021.

Despite rising numbers, government tourism spending reached just two-thirds of the record highs recorded in 2019, before the pandemic lockdown and subsequent waves of government restrictions hit tourism like a tsunami.

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“After a disastrous 2020, visitor spending is on the verge of recovery, but we still have a long way to go,” he said. Caroline Betetatop executive at Visit California, the state travel marketing agency. “Cities continue to suffer without critical international and group business divisions.”

Indeed, urban destinations such as the city of San Diego, which includes most of California’s hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions, have been slow to recover, according to the report. San Francisco, for example, recorded $ 6.1 billion in visitor spending in 2021 – just 43% of the $ 14.2 billion reached in 2019.

And here is clear evidence of the shock to the California economy that was COVID-19. Expenditure on international visitors, which was nearly $ 28 billion in 2019, plummeted to $ 5.4 billion in 2021.

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Visitor-generated revenue for state and local government increased by a third, to $ 9.8 billion, in 2021.

* * *

Belmont Park will stage a JobaPaloozaa work fair throughout the park on May 13th. A spokeswoman said the lunch event would be a full day of fun with a DJ, food for potential employees, swag bags with merchandise from renters and more.

Belmont Park also offers a summer bonus program – $ 150,000 in bonus incentives for employees who work 300 hours from June 1 to September 5. For example, if 100 employees remain eligible at the end of the summer, each will receive $ 1,500.

* * *

Gymnastics San Diegoone of San Diego’s largest fitness schools, promoted two executives, Erin Adams and Page Conroy, in the roles of co-managing director. The two of them take over the baton from the co-founder of the company Christina Grady.

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The school, with four locations, is going to open a fifth in the county.

“The last few years have been a period of great challenge and growth. “Erin and Paige have allowed us to be agile and flexible in difficult times, while at the same time developing our business and opening our location in La Costa and moving the Point Loma gym,” Grady said.

* * *

Amazon.com said it would create more than 700 new office jobs in San Diego, part of 2,500 corporate and technical jobs across Southern California. The news was first reported in many local media.

The internet retail giant says it has signed a lease with Seritage Growth Properties and Invesco for a 123,000-square-foot space at University Town Center. The employees will staff the space at the beginning of 2023.

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About 1,000 employees already work at Amazon’s San Diego Technology Center on Campus Point Drive

“We have created more than 170,000 jobs across the state and are committed to continuing to invest here,” said the Amazon executive. Holly Sullivan“These 2,500 new jobs include roles in building cloud infrastructure, enhancing the Alexa experience and designing cutting-edge video games.”

Since 2010, Amazon claims to have created 170,000 jobs in California and invested $ 81 billion.

These investments have contributed an additional $ 80 billion to the California economy and support 259,000 indirect jobs – in addition to the company directly employed.

* * *

Artificial intelligence launch in San Diego FutureProof Technologies says he has raised $ 6.5 million in a round of funding headed by him AXIS Digital Ventures with the participation of previous Innovation investors Tries and MS&AD Ventures. The investment raises FutureProof’s total capital to $ 10 million.

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According to the website, the company uses artificial intelligence to predict insurance losses from hurricanes, winds and floods.

FutureProof says its “climate-smart” insurance products help fill the gap and provide incentives for investment in climate adaptation.

For more information about the company, visit www.futureprooftech.io.

* * *

Blue Ocean Barns, which has a production facility here in San Diego, recently said that three dairy companies – Ben & Jerry’s, Straus Family Creamery and Sonoma clover – have signed agreements for the development of its natural algae supplement for cows which ‘dramatically reduce the greenhouse gas footprint in agricultural activities’.

The product, Brominata, is an algae-based digestive aid for cows. Blue Ocean grows algae that destroys burping in onshore tanks near the company’s double headquarters in Kailua-Kona and here in San Diego.

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Algae can reduce the “methane emissions” of cows from belching by 80% or more without changing the taste of milk or meat, according to reviews by critics.

California agricultural authorities approve use of the product as a digestive aid for cattle earlier this spring.

* * *

Finally, this item – another way to look at the growing San Diego housing crisis.

According to recent statistics, the average house in the US now costs about $ 405,000. So how much space would they buy for $ 400,000 in an expensive market like San Diego?

Residential real estate platform Point 2 recently did a study to find out how much space would they buy $ 400,000 in the 100 largest cities in the country and came up with some answers.

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For this amount of cash, a home buyer here can get from 500 to 600 square feet. This is about the size of a ridiculously small studio apartment.

Compare that to places in California like Bakersfield and Fresno, where for $ 400,000 you will have 1,860 square feet and 1,747, respectively.

San Francisco and Fremont provide the least for this amount of money – between 400 and 500 square feet.

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based freelance journalist specializing in business and economics writing. If you have news tips you want to share, send them [email protected]

Tom York on Business: Tourism Showing Signs of Life as California Recovers from COVID Source link Tom York on Business: Tourism Showing Signs of Life as California Recovers from COVID

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