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Benefits of Tourism

Carly Rohrer, Liaison Manager

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Have you ever been stuck in traffic in town when the traffic light is red? What about when the traffic light turns green, and you’re still not moving? Although tourism in Laguna can be infuriating, it is a critical part of the vitality and culture of Laguna Beach.

Without the tourists, all of your favorite restaurants and shops would have to shut down because of the lack of customers. Most locals think that it would be great to have no pesky tourists in their space but, as it turns out, tourism is what makes this town thrive.

Imagine walking down the street and seeing no one in the art museums, no one inside any restaurants and no one in the shops. Slowly, every business would start to close, and Laguna Beach would become a ghost town. Sure, the beaches would be empty, and the streets would be clear— but Laguna Beach would no longer have its character. There would be no more tourists to purchase all of the amazing art our local artists produce. Subsequently, the culture of our little beachside town would be non-existent.

Not only would the culture disappear, but the economy of our town would also crash as well. The Indy newspaper closely examined the Visit Laguna study in 2016 and they reflected that “direct visitor spending totaled $556.6 million with the average hotel guest spending $235 per day and day-trippers spending $57 per day.  The study also showed that through shopping, dining and lodging, visitors generate $17.8 million towards local taxes. The study also attributes 5,000 local jobs to Laguna Beach’s tourism.”

Approximately 23% of locals have jobs that are tourism based. Without tourists, five thousand local people would be without jobs. Tourism also generated 17.8 million dollars that went directly back to making our town a better place. Even though tourists are bothersome, they are most certainly crucial for our little town’s economy.

Even though we live in Laguna, that doesn’t necessarily mean we own it. We shouldn’t be upset when the 6.3 million annual visitors come to visit our town. Rather than being annoyed, be glad that so many people enjoy the beauty of Laguna Beach, and be happy that you get to live in this paradise. I understand that tourists can be irritating and that most locals dread the crowded summer months; however, tourists aren’t that bad. Next time you are stuck at a traffic light, remember, tourists are what keep our town alive.

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Benefits of Tourism