The Facts:
2014 Tourism Luncheon
May 7 from 12pm to 1:30pm
at the Far Western Tavern
300 E. Clark Ave. Orcutt, CA
Mayor’s Award Honoree: Bob Hatch
Cost: $18 per person
RSVP: (805) 925-2403, ext. 851
The first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week, a tradition first celebrated in 1984, established by a Congressional joint resolution passed in 1983.

It is during this timeframe that our Visitor & Convention Bureau hosts its annual Tourism Luncheon. This year’s event will be held at the Far Western Tavern (see info above).

Tourism Facts Available through the U.S. Travel Organization:

  • Travel generates $2.1 trillion for the U.S. economy.
  • Travel supports 14.9 million American jobs – one in every 9 jobs depends on travel.
  • Travel is a top 10 employer in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Travel contributes more than $134 billion to the federal, state and local tax base. Each American household would pay $1,093 more in taxes without travel revenues.
  • Travel provides a “Day Off Dividend”: If workers used all of their available paid time off, the U.S. economy would gain $160 billion in additional annual business sales, which would support 1.2 million new jobs and generate $21 billion in new annual tax revenues.
  • Travel is America’s No. 1 services export.

Every year at our luncheon, we bestow the Mayor’s Award to an individual or organization whose efforts have resulted in positively impacting tourism in our city.  We are thrilled to announce that this year, Mr. Bob Hatch, the President and CEO of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau will receive that award – so deservedly.

When he came here 20 years ago, the Chamber was in a horrible state. Bob got everything back on track – he made sure all the outstanding bills were paid, he fixed the Chamber’s credit, he bought computers for the staff, just to name a few things. Bob had a huge task ahead of him when he came to Santa Maria to head our Chamber of Commerce and he’s had the ability to change things around 1000% since that time.

During that time period, Bob hired Nancy Bjork as the first VCB Manager. He designed all the VCB’s programs and wrote the job descriptions for our three positions – all still in place to this day.

In my opinion, Bob has been the best champion for tourism out of anyone in the history of my working for the Chamber of Commerce.  He has consistently gone to bat for us in relaying the importance of tourism to our city’s economy and protecting our position and funding.

Bob is a well-respected citizen and business leader in our city. His voice speaks wisdom and foresight. He sees the bigger picture and encourages others to do so. He is community minded and a huge supporter of businesses of all types and sizes here in our city.

This award is long overdue.

Under Bob’s leadership, our VCB has continued to gain momentum through consistently marketing our city for leisure, meetings/conventions, filming and sporting/special events – even during the worst of times.

Those bad economic times seem to be fading away behind us if this year’s midyear numbers are any indication – During the first half of this fiscal year, travel and tourism brought $1,486,134.06 in revenue to our city – an increase of 13% over last year’s figures for the same time period. This is a Return on Investment to the City of Santa Maria of $986,344.06.

So when you really think about it, Bob Hatch has not only secured the VCB existence, but also countless jobs and businesses in our city.  Visitors spend money on travel related activities, but they spend money in our local businesses of every kind.

To that end, we ask that you join our VCB in applauding Bob Hatch and honoring him for two decades of service, leadership, guidance and wisdom, in preserving our market share of the tourism industry!