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Travel/Tourism Watch

No More Bakersfield Jokes!  Not known for its scenery,Bakersfield nevertheless continues to attract plenty of visitors leading the state in May 2012 in the percent increase in rooms sold vs 2011- up 13% and up 11% in occupancy as well. Bako’s closely watched RevPAR was up 16.2%.

Statewide California was up 3.9% on rooms sold in May while Tulare/Visalia metro improved from  April (when it was down-3.4%) with a 5.7% increase in rooms sold and 4.2% increase in RevPAR .

Over on the Coast, SLO County showed a 4.8% increase in rooms sold and 5.5% RevPAR jump.

The research done by Smith Travel shows RevPAR’s highest increase was around airport area hotels – up nearly 12% from May 2011.

Back in  Kern County other signs of a resurgent economy are evident like this news item.“Among California metro areas, Kern County had the fourth highest rate of five year growth in median household income.  In an analysis released Monday of U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the Sacramento Business Journal identified 25 metro areas in the state with the largest percentage gains in median household income from 2005 to 2010.During those five years, Kern’s median household income grew by 13.2 percent, rising $5,300 to $45,524.”

Got to like those gasoline prices ,falling every day, that may help boost summer travel in the Golden State in coming months.The nation’s airlines jet fuel index as measured by their industry group -is down 15% from a year ago and 11.5% lower than just one month ago. Hey,pass some that down!

But there should be more savings at the retail pump for that July 4 trip  on tap. Why? Gasoline providers are getting wholesale gas(CARBOB/LA)  at 90 cents cheaper per gallon as of June 20 than they got as of May 15 while the retail price of gas to you and me has dropped 40 to 50 cents. California Energy Commission website reports a spike in margins in the past few weeks as they slooooolwly meter out the savings on lower oil costs.

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