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Tourism, film shoots, bring in vital dollars to Santa Barbara

The annual tourism report in Santa Barbara shows the area is still very popular for visitors, and also TV producers looking for places to film new shows.

“We’re all interested in keeping the business here in Santa Barbara,” said Kathy Janega-Dykes with the Santa Barbara Conference and Visitors Bureau and Film Commission.

She said, Santa Barbara is very busy with family travelers this week, but year-round, the hotel occupancy rates are strong at around 72 percent.

Steven Meade with the Pocket Concierge says, “I think the funding the city gives to the CVB, is money well spent because it comes back four different times.”

Tourism officials say the city is likely getting return visitors from those who stop for the day on cruise ships, and also when network shows feature Santa Barbara in their segments, showing scenic views that may lead to future vacation plans for viewers.

Janega-Dykes says this region is popular with unscripted, or reality show producers. She said many areas have already been shot for the upcoming show, “Ready for Love” with Tim Lopez a Santa Barbara resident. It comes out in April.

Upcoming, the region will get international exposure during the Amgen Tour of California race taking place in May.

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