Tourist Tuesday – Tourism in MoCo, 9/11/18

Overtourism, like overpopulation, is a global issue. Big Sur is not alone with this problem. I have brought you articles demonstrating this problem for almost a year. I will be cutting back on bringing these to you for Tourist Tuesday. I am still resolving what I will cover on this issue, and how.

One of the lines in the last article about social media and tourism that caught my eye, which is a good lead-in to this article is this: “Do governments need to do a better job managing their tourists, spending more money on enforcing laws, permit systems, sustainability, and infrastructure — rather than tourism marketing?”

Infrastructure is what many of us have been arguing since 2016 and our first “overtourism” meeting at Treebones in May of that year. We are always told there are no resources to support the infrastructure we have been clamoring for; increased enforcement bathrooms, parking permits, etc. Let’s look at that claim.

To begin:

Here is the budget of the MCCVB for 2018-2019:


Here is a closer look: between Jurisdictional Income and TID/HID income Monterey County gives the MCCVB $2,000,000 a year.


As well as the annual report of the MCCVB for 2017-2018:


To put this in perspective, with the money MoCo gives MCCVB each year it could fund TEN deputy sheriffs at Jesse Villasenor’s level, that includes salary, overtime, other pay, and benefits. (Here is the link for: Jesse’s salary)

The next time our county tells us they don’t have the money to help Big Sur with its overtourism problem. Point to this. They do. They have simply prioritized bringing in more and more tourists rather than provide for a meaningful experience for them.

But we need to think Statewide, not just county. It is a state highway, patrolled, by state employees. The entire state depends on us and this stretch of road to meet its tourism goals, as was amply demonstrated when other areas were closed due to fires. Yosemite and Big Sur are now tied for yearly number of visitors. See California (link here)

I will provide additional research and information on the tourist industry in MoCo and California in another installment of Tourist Tuesdays, but no longer will I be doing them each week due to the time needed to research what I write. Maybe I will be make this a monthly column, will see where it leads us…


14 thoughts on “Tourist Tuesday – Tourism in MoCo, 9/11/18

  1. Thank you Kate for this information – I think you have the right message and are collecting the meaningful information to move the ball down the field.

  2. Thanks, Kate….really good information to have to support our ‘argument’ for more infrastructure support. As an active owner of property that is constantly being abused by over tourism, I spend a lot of time cleaning up after them and inviting them off of the property…that said, I live full time in the Sacramento area so if there’s any time that in-person research or meeting attendance is needed, I’m happy to assist…
    Thank you again, Laurie Smith

  3. Is this document available online or as a PDF anywhere? I’d like to read the whole thing if possible. Thanks!

  4. Tim, I am sure you can find it on the MCCVB website. However, I have found their website to be only user friendly on the tourist end of the information, on the organizational end, a bit less so. If you find it, please feel free to post a link to it in the comments sections

  5. Here’s the link Tim H asked about. Grab such info by doing advanced search, e.g., “annual report”
    and it will take you to

    And I’m in agreement, Kate, including about bicycling. In addition to MCCVB, local cities also add to problems by promoting but not educating. For example, I’ve repeatedly encouraged City of Monterey to make it easy for visitors and residents to find on their site, including to share tips I developed for biking Pebble Beach in cooperation with PB Co’s longtime safety director—not just encourage everyone to bike 17-Mi Dr with nothing but a map! Even after I got in touch with PB Co themselves about MCCVB and Monterey’s promotion without education (and they did seem interested—including because a Bay Area visitor had just been referred to me by SF Bicycle Coalition because of a run-in she’d had with CHP there), City of MRY still hasn’t changed their web page promoting biking 17-Mile Drive.

    Likewise, for all the buzz about MCCVB’s “Sustainable Moments” efforts, I’m not seeing the level of commitment I’d expect. For example, their Jazz Festival tips say nothing about bike valet parking or pure water stations (an oversight on Tim O’s part, I imagine–but the Sustainable Moments folks at MCCVB didn’t catch the post’s omission).

    The Bicycling Monterey site ( and all Bicycling Monterey projects ( remain a 100% unpaid volunteer gig for me, now in 10th year. Despite awards and words of praise (, gross conributions 2009-2018 total an average of $3/day. If you value biking as one way to lessen overtourism’s impact, please help support this work: (And yes, as Kate knows, there are unique tips for people who https:/// Thanks.

  6. Very informative comment, Mari, as always. Thanks. Yes, we both started as unpaid volunteers about the same time, and boy, it is not easy. Thanks for all you do.

  7. Clear up around the NW tip of WA (stayed at Neah Bay) and then over to Mt Rainier… simply heavenly trip! I just need to rest up a bit and do a LOT of sorting…. 😀

  8. Late to this post, but wanted to reply anyway. I got in a long email conversation with the public relations person for MMCVB a while back. She was pleasant, but her basic response was “We’re aware of the problem and dong our best to resolve it”. She sent me a list of public meetings they’d been at. I actually took the time to read the supplied minutes from the meetings and it was clear that they aren’t really doing anything, simply acknowledging the issue while continuing to spend money on promotion. Very diasapontng.

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