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Newport’s marketing agency reports growing hotel bookings

Newport Beach & Co., the marketing agency for the city of Newport Beach, says it made about 18% of hotel room bookings in the city for the 2015-16 fiscal year, translating into $96 million in revenue.

Officials say hotel booking numbers from the fiscal year ended June 30 mark a historic high for the company.

The total number of hotel rooms booked in Newport Beach was about 909,000 in fiscal 2015-16. Of those, Newport Beach & Co. booked 159,975, up about 18% from the prior year, according to STR Inc. a Tennessee-based hotel research and data firm.

In 2013-14, the company booked 56,919 rooms. In 2014-15, it booked 135,675.

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This past week, Newport Beach & Co. unveiled its two-year marketing plan for the city, which outlines how the organization plans to attract different groups of tourists through 2018.

“This 172-page, two-year plan equips Newport Beach hotels, restaurants, retail centers and businesses with leading-edge economic forecasts, our team’s integrated, strategic plans and a road map to build their plans around the destination’s overarching plan,” Gary Sherwin, president and chief executive of Newport Beach & Co., said in a statement.

Data show that tourism in Newport Beach generates more than $1 billion in visitor spending annually. Newport typically sees about 7 million visitors each year, making tourism a booming industry for the city, experts say.

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Newport Beach & Co. forecasts stabilized occupancy rates and solid room-revenue growth in Orange County and Newport Beach hotels through 2018, with annual average occupancy rates for hotels citywide surpassing 80% for the first time in 2017.

“Following a robust rebound of visitors to California since the recession, California expects visitation to moderate to a pace of 2.2% growth per year,” Adam Sacks, president of market assessment firm Tourism Economics, said in a statement. “At the same time, Newport Beach expects to see tempered growth over the next few years for visitors to the city. However, travel spending per party is expected to increase at a faster rate.”

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Hannah Fry, hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @HannahFryTCN


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