California town pays tourists $100 to come visit

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Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A small California town with a tourism industry hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic is offering visitors $100 to come and stay.

The Visit Santa Maria Valley program is providing $100 vouchers, which can be used at the town's wineries, breweries and restaurants, to tourists who stay for at least two nights at hotels there.


The promotion, which launched Thursday, runs through March 31.

"Santa Maria Valley has so much to offer," Jennifer Harrison, director of the Santa Maria Valley Visitors Bureau, told CNN. "We have beautiful beaches, hotels and wineries that are such a great option for budget-conscious travelers during a time of economic rebound."

Harrison said the town is a safer travel location than many other California destinations, as the area is less crowded and social distancing can be more easily enforced.

"Visit Santa Maria Valley is calling on visitors to discover the region in a safe, responsible way," Harrison said.


"Our wine-tasting rooms, outdoor spaces, restaurants and hotels have worked together to evolve health and safety protocols so that visitors can experience the charm of the area."

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