President/CEO Misti Kerns joins California mayors & tourism CEOs to share inclusive message

SANTA MONICA, Calif. May 22, 2017 – Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) President/CEO Misti Kerns arrived in Mexico this week as part of a state-wide goodwill mission intended to highlight California as a welcoming neighbor and an inclusive destination to Mexican visitors. Kerns joins a Visit California-led delegation of tourism officials and California mayors that will meet with Mexican tourism industry leaders to strengthen the important relationship between California and Mexico.

“Santa Monica has always been an inclusive destination, and we remain proud to welcome people of all races, religions and origins to our shores,” Kerns stated. “It is more important than ever that we maintain and foster the positive relationships that Santa Monica and California have with Mexico, and with the rest of the world.”

With 7.5% of all of Santa Monica’s international visitors coming from Mexico, the country sits firmly within Santa Monica’s top five international feeder markets, making a substantial positive impact on Santa Monica’s local economy. Beyond the figures, Kerns elaborates, “We have found that Santa Monica’s beachfront location, diverse shopping and family-friendly activities resonates with the Mexican audience.”

Recently-released figures from Visit California show that 7.9 million Mexicans traveled to California in 2016, making it California’s #1 international market and an area that the organization will invest $3.2 million into during the upcoming year. SMTT plans on extensively leveraging this investment to participate in Mexican marketing, public relations and travel trade programs in 2017, to further convey that Santa Monica remains committed to the Mexican traveler.

In partnership with local Santa Monica businesses, SMTT recently launched inclusive welcome signage that is prominently displayed at its visitor centers and has been made available for all businesses to download and utilize. The powerful message conveys that Santa Monica welcomes all religions, countries of origin, sexual orientations and genders. Visit to view and download the signage artwork.

New signage artwork on display at all Santa Monica Travel & Tourism visitor centers

New signage artwork on display at all Santa Monica Travel & Tourism visitor centers

About Santa Monica Travel & Tourism

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; or email Follow SMTT on Twitter @GoSantaMonica or become a Facebook fan at


Contact: Jackie Alvarez
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism