San Diego hotel occupancy continues to lag the results of Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Francisco, according to Smith Travel Research numbers.
Hotel guru Jerry Morrison of Encinitas blames this year's weak performance on the funding cutback of the San Diego Tourism Authority and the impact of the sequester.
For the year to date through September, San Diego hotel occupancy is up only 0.8%, while San Francisco is up 2.8%, Orange County up 2.6%, and Los Angeles up 1.8%. San Diego also lags the other three California coast destinations in average daily room rate and revenue per available room.
Significantly, Morrison compares 2013 results with the same period of 2007, when the Great Recession was just gathering steam. San Diego's occupancy rate, average daily room rate, and revenue per available room are all in the minus column, while the other three metro areas are up — sturdily, in some cases.
Clearly, the funding cutback and the sequester are not significant factors over that six-year period. Something else is wrong. Some are finally suggesting that San Diego's billion-dollar infrastructure deficit — particularly the bad shape of parks, beaches, and other tourist draws — may be negatively impacting tourism, as well as the lifestyle of local residents.
In short, rundown roads and parks may be turning away potential tourists.