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Santa Barbara County prepares for tourism season despite economic challenges

Blake DeVine/NC3

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The tourists are coming back to Santa Barbara. As COVID-19 restrictions loosened, the city and county began to see more tourists. Now, even the large cruise liners are starting to return.

However, Santa Barbara looks different than it did before the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last two years, businesses have moved or closed, a few even opened. And now inflation is driving up costs.

For local workers, prices are getting more challenging. The price to buy a home in Santa Barbara has gone up 16.6% in the last year. According to Redfin, the average price of a home on the market is $2.1 million dollars.

Renting is also becoming more difficult. According to Zumper, the average price for a one-bedroom rental is $2,600. That’s up 26% since last year.

NewsChannel 3-12 will talk with UCSB economics professor Peter Rupert about Santa Barbara’s economic outlook heading into tourism season.

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Scott Sheahen

Scott Sheahen is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Scott, click here.


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