Large tour groups visit Santa Barbara after two years of limited travel


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Employees from companies like LinkedIn and Comcast are in town for meetings.

And they get the chance to explore the sights and sounds of Santa Barbara.

“And they have traveled far to get here. This group resides in Ojai. And they found out about our food and wine tour group,” said Santa Barbara tour guide Linda Luber.

Tour guides are excited to see larger groups returning after travel restrictions are lifted.

“Covid has really shut down the hospitality industry for a little over two years. There are so many areas of the hospitality industry that have relied on tourism and business incentive travel and things like that,” said Anaheim-based tour guide Joe Palminteri.

Joe Palminteri is the brother of NewsChannel reporter John Palminteri.

“And it’s wonderful to have these large groups back in town and to see all the people enjoying the great things that Santa Barbara has to offer,” said Luber.

As part of the full-day tour, visitors will stop at several locations along State Street, including the Taqueria Café.

“We took a day trip here to enjoy the Santa Barbara scenery…which neither of us have been to…we’re having some wine…we’re going to eat really good food…and enjoy the company of a lot of people,” said tourist Brian Roberts .

The tour included people here in Santa Barbara.

“I have a very famous brother up here in Santa Barbara,” said Joe Palminteri.

“And we had people from Dublin and Scotland … as well as from the east coast and even from California,” Luben said.

Tour guides hope the momentum of larger group tourism will continue.

“I’d happily stay another week if I could,” Roberts said.

Currently, city guides say there is no limit to the number of people per group.


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