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Too Much Money for Tourism
updated: Jul 17, 2014, 11:15 AM

By Tom Lewis

I have read in the news this week that our Santa Barbara City Council approved approximately $1.3 million dollars of our tax money to go towards tourism. This is a waste of our money and is ruining the integrity of Santa Barbara. Our schools, our roads, our parks, our non-profits, and our small businesses should receive these funds instead.

The reason people used to like visiting Santa Barbara was because of our small town charm and the stark difference and escape from over developed towns like Newport Beach, LA, and San Diego. Now it appears that our money hungry City Council is looking to ditch the small town feel and move towards another LA suburb.

KEYT states that "... Visit Santa Barbara, Old Spanish Days and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival are recipients of big money." These are the biggest organizations in town that generate a large amount of revenue already. Did they really need our tax dollars to further denigrate Santa Barbara's reputation?

Here is the list of money to be received:

  • Visit Santa Barbara to receive over $1 million dollars
  • Old Spanish Days/Fiesta to receive $98,000
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival to receive $78,000

    Visit Santa Barbara is said to promote Santa Barbara as a tourist destination. Why do they need $1 million dollars to do that? All it will go to are ridiculous commercials and Facebook account management! They are the part of the reason why television shows from Los Angeles are now starting to film in our town. Remember the Bachelorette reality show shooting? How much money do you think the City received from that show alone? They were here for what seemed like 4 days!

    This video is on the Visit SB youtube account. About how much do you think was spent on it? Is this where our money is going?

    And remember when they spent $10,000 on a hideous logo? There were over 100 edhat comments about it.

    Erik Davis of Old Spanish Days said, "Fiesta brings in $34 million to the region compared to the weekends prior and after the Old Spanish Days event." Why do you need an extra $100k?

    The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is the worst representation of Santa Barbara. It should be called "Northern LA International Film Festival that snubs locals unless you have $$ to pay for highly inflated movie ticket prices." The Film Festival could not be less involved in our community if they tried.

    I suggest the City Council reviews their funding to these tourism organizations for visitors and instead puts the money back into the community for the people who actually live here! Roads, schools, jobs, etc. We live here and we should be able to enjoy the fruits of our labors, not visitors.


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