In 1983, Santa Monica was home to five full-service hotels, the average visitor spent $31 per day, and 42 percent of visitors traveled car-free, according to Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau’s CEO Misti Kerns.
Today, Santa Monica has 15 full-service hotels, the average visitor spends $234 per day, and 75 percent of Santa Monica hotel visitors never use a car once they are here.
Kerns presented these statistics at the SMCVB’s Third Annual Travel and Tourism Summit at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica on Wednesday morning.
Nearly 250 members from the greater Los Angeles travel industry attended the event, which was held in partnership with neighboring destinations Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Marina del Rey, and West Hollywood.
The summit highlighted the Obama Administration, Visit California, and Brand USA’s latest efforts to drive international visitation, the economic impact of tourism, and the future outlook for the city’s travel landscape.
“Tourism is a critical component in creating sustainable jobs and we are thrilled to have so many industry and business leaders strengthening this message today,” Kerns said. “While business is looking good, we must continue to promote and serve our visitors as they are a lifeline to our economic health.”
During the summit, the results of the 2011 Santa Monica Tourism Economic Impact Study, conducted on a regular basis since 1983, were presented.
Notable figures showed that 11,400 Santa Monica jobs are supported by tourism, a 12.9 percent increase from 2010. International visitor volume increased by 4 percent in the last year, an important increase because international visitors stay longer, spend more money, and are more likely to use public transportation.
The Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) by Santa Monica hotels increased by 16 percent, generating $35 million into the City of Santa Monica’s general fund in 2011 and retail taxes generated by visitor spending increased by 27.8 percent. These revenues fund street improvements, police and fire departments, parks, and schools.
During the summit, SMCVB highlighted key achievements in the 2011/2012 fiscal year and opened nominations for the “Thelma Parks Tourism Spirit Award” to honor exceptional service in the hospitality and tourism industry. Winners will be selected and honored quarterly and announced each May.
To learn more about the Thelma Parks Tourism Spirit Award and to submit nominations, visit www.santamonica.com/spiritaward.