SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Santa Barbara hotels saw a record low occupancy when travel was limited to essential work during the pandemic. Visit Santa Barbara found “the Santa Barbara South Coast lost more than 640,000 hotel room nights, which translated to more than $170 million in missing rooms revenue.”
They said the industry had a 50% unemployment in Santa Barbara County, which was the hardest-hit industry due to pandemic restrictions. And hit a pandemic low of 13% occupancy the second week of April 2020.
However, now that many COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, Visit Santa Barbara is seeing record high hotel occupancies. In a June 30 press release, they wrote, “The region (representing the area from Summerland to Gaviota) has outperformed competitors throughout Southern California—as well as its own record. More hotel rooms were sold in the region in the past four weeks than during the same time in any other year on record, averaging 80% occupancy.”