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Study Shows Agency Attracts Tourists

August 11, 2000|TRACI ISAACS

Tourists stopping by the Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau are handed a peach-colored sand bucket with a blue shovel. Inside are dozens of coupons for area shops, restaurants and outdoor excursions.

Such marketing tools, designed to help lure additional travelers to town, seem to work.

The bureau this week released two reports suggesting its efforts to increase tourist spending are paying off.

The number of people who stopped by the bureau's office looking for information increased by 14% in the past 12 months.

A survey sent to 4,000 visitors, of whom 56% responded, showed nearly half came to Ventura after seeing an advertisement, the report indicated. While here, those tourists added $3.97 million to the city's economy, according to the report.

Tourists help fill about 2,000 hotel rooms in the city and in turn pay occupancy taxes.

The city generated $2.55 million in hotel taxes last year, up from $2.39 million the previous year. The percentage of rooms rented in June rose 3.5% from the same period last year, said Kathy Janega-Dykes, manager of the visitors bureau. The agency plans to spend nearly $30,000 more on advertising in the upcoming year.

"This was described as a quality coastal resort," said Mike Murphy, a tourist from Lincolnshire, England. "It's been nothing but wonderful, from the tour guide to the ex-serviceman who was our bus driver. There's an attitude of friendliness."

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