The area around Santa Barbara, California has emerged from a once-in-a-hundred-years series of natural calamities and is back in the business of greeting and hosting visitors. Just to refresh memories: There was the Thomas Fire in December and in January came the Montecito mudslides. However, reports Visit Santa Barbara, despite these tragic crises, the local community is already well into recovery thanks to the resilience and spirit of its people as well as the support of visitors to the destination.
Fortunately, for the destination, aside from Montecito, all other Santa Barbara South Coast cities, including Santa Barbara, Goleta and Summerland, were not in the impact zone of the flooding and mudslides, Jocilyn Schumacher, travel trade manager for Visit Santa Barbara, told INBOUND. And now, she said, all hospitality businesses in these cities, including hotels, restaurants and attractions, are open for business.
The fire has not affected Santa Barbara wine industry, she added, and the Santa Ynez Valley and north to Santa Maria and Lompoc were not affected. As well, the urban winemaking facilities and wine-tasting rooms in the city of Santa Barbara (such as the Urban Wine Trail and Wineries of the Presidio Neighborhood) were not affected.
Lodging Update: As INBOUND was about to publish, only three hotels were closed in Montecito: San Ysidro Ranch; Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara; and the Montecito Inn. San Ysidro Ranch is closed indefinitely, but Montecito Inn is slated to reopen sometime this month, and Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara plans to reopen June 1.
Asked what would be the best way to support the Santa Barbara community, Schumacher said: “come experience the special place that the Santa Barbara South Coast is,” adding “We would love for travel agents, tour operators and meeting planners to let prospective visitors know that, except for the temporary closure of three hotels (out of nearly 100 hotels in the area), the ‘American Riviera’ experience is the same as it has always been.
To refresh your memory of what Santa Barbara is all about, check out its destination video: