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Californians encouraged to 'staycation'

November 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The Southern California tourism industry has taken a hit because of the financial crisis. Fewer visitors are coming here. You can help boost the local economy by spending your travel dollars closer to home.After two straight years of tourism going up, the fourth quarter of this year will see a downturn. According to the L.A. Convention and Tourism Bureau, it is working with area hotels and merchants to go after what it calls regional travelers, or Californians, looking for a place to go on vacation.

"I think you are going to see some deals out there that travelers will be able to take advantage of," said Patti MacJennet, L.A. Convention Tourism Bureau.

The Pinchems are a classic case of a family staying at home. They are from Ontario, and for $10 round-trip, took the family by train to Hollywood.

"We realized that we're basically in the place to be on the planet, in my opinion," said George Pinchem. "We love California, we love this part of the world."

Southern California resorts are making it even more affordable. Disneyland, for example, in a statement said that the resort has always been a popular place for families to celebrate the holidays. Special discounts on hotels and the parks will make it even more appealing. The Walt Disney Company runs Disneyland and is the parent company of ABC7.

Six Flags Magic Mountain said in a statement: "With consumers looking for the best value, our 2009 Season Pass is on sale now and includes the rest of 2008 and all of the 2009 operating season for the affordable price of one day's admission."

What if you want to go somewhere, but you've got a budget that's pretty tight, you can find some holiday bargains as long as you're willing to shop and be flexible.

"Think of alternative travel times -- that first flight in the morning that is so popular may not have the lowest fare available, but if you could leave in the afternoon, be more flexible, you may have the right dollar figure that fits your budget," said Rhonda Holguin, Montrose Travel.

So if you don't want to stay home, according to Holguin, you can save money by flying out of regional airports like Burbank, Long Beach and Ontario.


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