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Tourism outlook has new options for disabled visitors and a strong 2023 is expected after a cold and wet start to the year

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - With sunnier days ahead after a cold start to the year, tourism leaders are optimistic about the remainder of 2023.

It is National Travel and Tourism Week (established in 1983) and the annual gathering of hospitality businesses and attractions is taking place at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

It is hosted by Visit Santa Barbara.

The industry leaders locally say it generates more than $1.9 billion, including $56 million in yearly tax revenue, and is responsible for more than 13,000 tourism jobs. It is an economic driver for Santa Barbara County and the Central Coast.

This year the meeting will focus on making the area more accessible to all visitors, including people with disabilities. This includes more than just wheelchair access. It also includes noise and visual changes to make the travel experience more pleasant for someone who is disabled.

After the unusually harsh winter, travel leaders expect to see the public on the move again. Santa Barbara has benefitted from its close proximity to Los Angeles. Visitors often make day trips.

There's also a draw with so many outdoor activities ranging from whale watching and kayaking to trips for wine tasting in and around vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley.

A multi-day agenda can also include hotel bookings and restaurant dining reservations.

(More details, photos and video will be added later today)

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Article Topic Follows: Travel
National Travel and Tourism Week
Santa Barbara
santa barbara zoo
Visit Santa Barbara

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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