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Here are some readers’ thoughts on where tourism promotion money is going.
Wayne Riggs, pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church:
I have long been a critic of San Diego’s policy of giving use of our publicly-owned land to major hotels without some strings attached: No. 1 is a requirement that livable wages be paid to the workers. The labor of these workers contributes to enormous profits for the hotels — and the bulk of the profits leave our city for the corporate headquarters and excessive salaries for management, including CEOs. Better wages for our workers would give them some additional discretionary funds to use in their city which would strengthen our own economy. It is unjust to the citizens of San Diego to mismanage their property interests by refusing to pay livable wages. Secondly, continuing to subsidize the hotels with our tax dollars adds insult to injury. There’s a principle of economic ecology that is being ignored by current practices and ignoring this principle will continue to harm our workers and our city’s economy.
Mayor Bob Filner has it all wrong. The Tourism Marketing District is good for the people and the city coffers. Would be nice if he got his facts straight, and stopped his own sequestration of tourism jobs!
At times like these our monetary resources should help those who need it the most whenever that is possible and reasonable. Our hotel workers, for sure, should be paid decent living wages so therefore the hotel industry (which does quite well in a city that people worldwide like to visit) should not receive any city funds until they assure this reality for hardworking people.
In regard to the brouhaha brewing over Bob Filner’s call for an end to poverty wages at downtown hotels: I completely agree. I’m a San Diegan who takes many “staycations” every year with my husband. We see firsthand that the workers are the very backbone of these establishments. And they are the ones who make our experiences stellar.
If these hoteliers persist in the “Wal-Martization” of their workers, my husband and I will feel less inclined to frequent any more hotels. In the last year alone, we’ve stayed at the Hard Rock, Hotel La Jolla, the Omni and Dana.
I applaud Mayor Bob Filner for bringing this issue to light.
Shame on you, hotel owners, for acting like a bunch of whiny toddlers.
The idea that tourists will stop coming to San Diego because of a delayed advertising campaign is pretty silly. It’s not Colorado. It’s San Diego, America’s Finest City. Don’t underestimate the power of bloggers, social media and word-of-mouth. The traditional advertising outlets of magazines, newspapers and even television are on the verge of extinction anyway.
Want to spark discussion? Start a conversation by submitting a commentary at Fix San Diego.