SOURCE: National University System Institute for Policy Research

November 06, 2013 18:16 ET

San Diego's Hotel/Motel Industry Stuck in Neutral

New Data Shows Employment in Lodging Industry Lagging Most Other Metropolitan Areas

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 6, 2013) - The National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) released today a policy brief comparing San Diego employment in the lodging industry against both the national yearly average as well as seven other major metropolitan areas that compete with San Diego for leisure travelers. These comparisons show that this critical industry for San Diego is stuck in neutral. 

Employment in the accommodations sector is still only at 90 percent as seen in 2007 -- the last full year before the onset of the Great Recession. Meanwhile, employment in the sector nationally stands at 97 percent of peak. Four competitors -- Miami, Orlando, Honolulu and Los Angeles -- have all seen employment rebound to above 2007 levels. Indeed, only Phoenix is lagging behind San Diego, with the Valley of the Sun standing at only 87 percent of 2007 levels. 

"NUSIPR believes part of San Diego's lag reflects the advantages that competitor regions have received from the on-going theme park arms race between Disney and Comcast, which has seen billions invested into tourism infrastructure in Central Florida and the greater Los Angeles area," said Erik Bruvold, president of the National University System Institute for Policy Research. "San Diego, in contrast, has not seen nearly the same level of investment in the infrastructure that drives visitors to vacation in a particular region."

Legal disputes surrounding San Diego's tourism marketing district and convention center expansion are likely to continue to act as a drag on the sector's recovery. At present, more than one out of every 10 jobs in the region is tied to San Diego's hospitality industry.

"To get the industry out of its current slump will require both a more robust economic recovery in certain key markets where San Diego has traditionally been strong, as well as concerted efforts to facilitate new investments at area beaches, parks, theme parks and convention facilities," Bruvold said.

The full report can be found at the Institute's web site at: http://www.nusinstitute.org/assets/resources/pageResources/News_And_Notes_Visitors_Employment.pdf

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