During the event, SMTT’s President/CEO Misti Kerns unveiled the 2018 Tourism Economic and Fiscal Impact summary report, revealing that tourism spending injected $1.93 billion into Santa Monica’s economy last year. Conducted annually to track the economic impact of tourism for the destination, the report highlighted the sustained growth of Santa Monica’s travel industry that drives the city’s economy with its visitor spending, job creation and generated tax revenue.
The report also revealed that more than $58 million went directly into the City’s general fund from the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) last year. The contribution of the TOT to the City’s general fund, supported entirely by overnight hotel guests, play a vital role in funding essential city services such as the exceptional police and fire departments, school systems, homeless services as well as the maintenance of the parks and beaches that make the beachside city a world-class place to live, work and play.
The report also noted the 12,614 tourism-supported jobs that cannot be exported outside of Santa Monica, and that the annual average occupancy of 85.7% and average daily rate of $351, making the performance of Santa Monica hotels amongst the strongest in the region.
“No matter what the Santa Monica experience means for you personally, whether you are a resident or a visitor, we can all agree that this beachside city is a special and unique place to live, work and visit,” said Kerns. “Santa Monica is fortunate to boast a thriving and sustainable economy, and tourism continues to be one of the most significant local contributors to this fact.”
During the event, Visit California President/CEO Caroline Beteta reflected on the ways the tourism industry continues to propel both Santa Monica and the state of California forward. California’s robust tourism economy expanded in 2018, fueling more than $140.6 billion in travel spending, $11.8 billion in tax revenue and 1.2 million jobs in communities across the Golden State.
“As the country’s most culturally and geographically diverse state, California offers an unparalleled wealth of experiences to travelers from around the globe,” said Beteta. “Year-round those travelers fuel billions in economic impact, millions of jobs and power an industry leading the way into a more sustainable future.”
Additional speeches celebrated the Santa Monica experience with speakers including Santa Monica Mayor Gleam Davis and keynote speaker Peter Kageyama, author of the award-winning book For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places.
Barbara Moss, banquet manager with Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, was awarded the Thelma Parks Tourism Spirit Award during the Summit for her exceptional service in the hospitality industry. Moss was awarded a $1,000 scholarship and a Santa Monica staycation, provided by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and SMTT. To learn more about the Thelma Parks Tourism Spirit Award and to submit nominations, visit www.santamonica.com/spiritaward.
The Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park received SMTT’s Jeff King Santa Monica Tourism Champion of the Year award. As the most Instagrammed location in all of Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Pier is undoubtedly the city’s biggest icon. Both organizations were recognized for their commitment to preserving the nearly 110-year legacy of this historical landmark while continuing to ensure the Pier’s relevancy and popularity well into the future with bold and innovative programming.
Richard Chacker, the outgoing Chair of the SMTT Board of Directors and co-owner of the ever-popular Perry’s Beach Café & Rentals, was recognized for his eight years of service to the organization and involvement in key initiatives.
“For the past 40 years I’ve spent most of my days down at the beach running my small business,” said Chacker. “I’m personally grateful for our tourism industry and I’ve witnessed firsthand the balance of both visitors and residents that is needed to keep independent businesses like mine alive and well.”
SMTT works to drive balanced demand to the destination through strategic marketing and sales initiatives. SMTT is represented by offices overseas in the key feeder markets of Australia/New Zealand, France, Germany, India and the United Kingdom/Ireland. A targeted digital approach continues in China.
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) is a non-profit organization designed to increase visitor expenditures, tourism revenues and local employment opportunities through the promotion of Santa Monica as a travel destination. For travel and accommodation information or a free copy of the official Visitors Guide, the public can write to the Santa Monica Visitor Center, 2427 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405; call (800) 544-5319 or (310) 393-7593; visit santamonica.com; or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow SMTT on Twitter @GoSantaMonica or become a Facebook fan at facebook.com/visitsantamonica.
Contact: Lauren Salisbury
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism