Did you know Solvang’s tourism industry provides for more than 1,000 jobs and welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors annually who spend an average of $190 a day?

Solvang visitors also generate 53 percent of the city’s General Fund revenue, derived from the 12-percent hotel transient occupancy tax (TOT) they pay on top of their hotel room rate.

For example, a visitor staying in a $100 hotel room pays an additional $12 in TOT to the city. When a visitor stays in a hotel, buys products and services that pay local wages, that tourism multiplier effect trickles down into all segments of our local economy.

The year-round great weather, shops, restaurants, bakeries, attractions and cultural events we all enjoy are highly sought-after by us locals and visitors. Solvang tourism is a major economic driver and contributes to our enhanced quality of life by providing more outstanding dining, shopping and recreational opportunities than our 5,909 city residents could possibly support on our own.

Why is tourism in Solvang important to you? Bottom line, Solvang resident households could each pay an estimated $1,450 more annually in taxes if the tourism industry did not contribute revenues to the city. Loss of this large revenue source could cause the city to cut back on services such as maintenance of streets, roads and parks, public safety protection and community services.

Frankly, tourism is the only industry where consumers arrive, spend their money, then leave, making limited environmental impacts yet providing positive economic benefits.

The Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau is the agency contracted by the city of Solvang to promote year-round tourism here. Let’s join together in recognizing that tourism is essential for Solvang’s continued economic vitality.

Tracy Farhad is executive director of the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau, the non-profit agency promoting the culture, cuisine, shopping, arts and attractions of California’s Denmark. For more information, stop by the Solvang Visitors Center at 1639 Copenhagen Drive, open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; call 805-688-6144 or visit www.SolvangUSA.com

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