Kern County is offering hotel reservations to anyone who buys a hotel room through online booking agency Oyola.
Hotels in the county, which has a population of about 7,000, have been struggling to attract more business as fewer people book and less people use the internet.
The $300 million offer is the county’s largest hotel booking offer since it launched the program in 2016, the county said in a press release.
Yonah Goldberg, the director of business development for the Kern County Hotel and Lodging Association, said the program is designed to help increase tourism in Kern, where tourism is up 12 percent from last year.
“The money is coming in from hotel room bookings and other services that are a huge part of our economy, but the most important thing is getting people to stay and get a room, Goldberg said.
The program was announced in January and will pay for about $400 million worth of new hotel construction.
The county is also offering an additional $200 million to help the economy recover from the economic downturn.
In 2018, the state of California saw the largest annual increase in hotel occupancy of any county, according to a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
The report found that counties in the Los Angeles-San Gabriel Valley had an average occupancy of 1,945.5 rooms per 100,000 people.
The Los Angeles County-Alameda-Contra Costa-Riverside area had an occupancy of 3,837.4.
The Kern County Office of Tourism is the only county agency in California that can offer the hotel reservation program.
The Kern County Tourism Development Authority manages the program.YONAH GOLDEN, KCRG: You know, the hotels in Kern are very, very popular.
And they’re really a great destination for the region, particularly because of the proximity of the San Gabriel Valley.
So I think there’s a real appeal for us to do that.
That’s really what we’re focusing on right now.
The $300k is the largest one that we’ve ever had, and it will continue to grow, but it’s also a big incentive for us as a county to get people to come to our region, which is a really attractive place to be.JOHN HARRIS, KRON4: It’s really important to understand that Kern County’s not the only one struggling to build a tourism industry, said County Executive Steve Pangilinan.
He added that Kern’s tourism budget is about $30 million.
But, he said, Kern County has been hit hard by the economic recession.
The county’s tourism program has been an eye-opener for the county.
We’re doing things that other counties wouldn’t do, and that’s been really beneficial to us.
It’s been a very positive investment.
But it also has created an opportunity for other counties to make a real difference in our region and make that happen.JOHNSON COUNTY: There’s been an increase in visitation to the Kern Valley region, but Kern County isn’t alone in trying to find new ways to draw visitors.
The San Diego-San Francisco-Oakland region has also been struggling with declining tourism, and the region’s unemployment rate hit a record high of 5.4 percent last year, the highest in the country.
The recession has hit California hard, with the unemployment rate topping 16 percent in some parts of the state, according in a recent report by economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
The economic downturn has also pushed some counties to look for ways to make money.
The recession has been particularly bad for the area’s economy, with fewer than half of the population employed and the unemployment number reaching 11.5 percent, according a recent survey by the Associated Press.JOHN JOHNSONS: There is a lot of economic activity that is happening right now in the San Francisco-San Mateo-Yolo corridor, and there are other cities that are trying to lure people.
And Kern County doesn’t necessarily have to be a very high-paying county to be attractive to people.JOHN: But the Kern-based economy, which generates about a quarter of Kern County revenue, has struggled in recent years with stagnant wages and an increasing need for hotel rooms, according the Kern Tourism Development Administration.
In 2017, the Kerns economy generated $11.3 billion, according an estimate from the Economic Development Institute, and about 7.5 million people worked in the state.
The economy grew by about 2 percent annually from 2000 to 2020, but unemployment increased by nearly 7 percent.