The San Diego City Council approved a newly revised tourism budget Tuesday, and agreed to release the last of some reserve money to help the struggling industry.
The tourism sector includes sports, entertainment, hotels, restaurants and museums. By no surprise, it was the hardest hit sector locally.
Around 77,000 people who worked in the industry are now out of work, and revenues are down 50%, according to Tourism Authority COO Kerri Kapich.
The funding will help the Tourism Authority continue marketing for leisure traveling in the region.
Kapich said the current ban on conventions and small meetings is holding the industry back. In fact, California is the only state that doesn’t allow them in modified form.
The Tourism Authority has submitted proposals for safe conventions to the county and state, according to Kapich.
“If you can go to Costco and run around Costco and be with a lot of other folks and not even have the kind of measures that have been put in place for the convention industry and for small meetings to be held at hotels, it’s a little, you know, unusual that more is not being allowed at this time,” she said.
The tourism authority is also urging San Diegans to help and to support local businesses, eat at local restaurants and stay in local hotels.
The San Diego Airport announced plans to bring COVID-19 testing to employees and visitors starting in early 2021.