Tourism Update – April/May 2019

Posted May 31, 2019

Team Santa Monica Leads Its Largest Sales Mission in the United Kingdom

SMTT and partners from The Georgian Hotel, Hotel Shangri-La, Huntley Santa Monica Beach and Shore Hotel traversed the United Kingdom, from London to Manchester, Leeds to Dublin, in the largest sales mission that SMTT has had the pleasure of hosting. Ten events, across four cities in two countries provided us the opportunity to train more than 160 travel agents, talk directly with product managers about including Santa Monica in their clients itineraries, pitch media outlets multiple Santa Monica story ideas, and bring to life the Santa Monica “Soul” that our beach city is so famous for. As we look to grow and seek out new ways of telling the Santa Monica story, a new opportunity that presented itself this year was the chance to record a training video for an independent travel agency, Travel Counsellors, that will be shown to more than 1,800 global travel agents.

The SMTT UK Sales Mission….by the numbers:
580 – Miles traveled in-country
162 – Agents trained
40 – Media outlets pitched
28 – Presentations to UK travel sales professionals
25 – Product managers convinced to sell more SM product
20 – Cab Rides
10 – Meetings/Events
10 – Downright amazing Santa Monica team members and partners
5 – Flights
5 – Days of meetings
4 – Hotels
4 – Cities
4 – Trains
2 – Countries
1 – Travel Counsellors TV broadcast to 1,800 at travel agents!!

Santa Monica Represents on Visit California Asia Sales & Media Mission

Representatives from the business development and public relations team participated in the Visit California Asia Sales & Media Mission in Chengdu, China. China is California’s number one overseas market with 1.6 million visitors spending $3.4 billion in 2018. In this important market FIT (free independent traveler) is blooming, with this segment increasing 10-20% each year and up almost 50% overall.

On the media track, Lauren Salisbury, Public Relations Manager, worked to strengthen relationships with key media contacts including writers from Condé Nast Traveler, Global Times CHN and Travel + Leisure China. The delegates also met with digital influencers who will be visiting the state later in 2019 on a partnership with Sina Travel.

On the trade side, SMTT’s Todd Mitsuhata conducted one-on-one meetings with product managers and directors from 30 leading Chinese travel agencies and tour operators including Ctrip, Sparkle Tour, Dista, U-Tour and Caissa. He also participated in a “California Road Trip Itinerary Competition,” where he was paired with other California suppliers and Chinese buyers to create and present a family road trip itinerary, which included an overnight stay in Santa Monica. The immersive appointments in tandem with the team building competition helped to further build relationships and ties with key Chinese clients.

Key Learnings from Social Media Marketing World Conference

Amy Mason, SMTT Marketing Manager, Brand & Content Strategy, recently attended the Social Media Marketing World conference held in San Diego, California. The three-day conference, put on by Social Media Examiner, is one of the largest social media conferences with dedicated educational tracks for each major social media platform along with other topics such as blogging, analytics, video creation and more.

Key Learnings:

  • 51% companies have just a small group servicing the entire company
  • 35% companies have a formal content marketing strategy
  • Good websites:
    • Has to be mobile friendly
    • Has to be fast loading
    • Designed for results; interactive and move down sales funnel
    • Has to be secure – https
  • Longer content is not the answer for search, it’s just better content
  • Guidelines for better search results:
    • Make your headers CLEAR
    • Include relevant entities in content
    • Sentence structure matters
    • Writing is actually research and data – include pieces of information that visitor should know or would be helpful
    • Images – need to size appropriately
    • Optimize click through rate
  • Social media budgets have gone from 13% to 11% in just the last year – because it’s hard to attribute ROI/impact!

How to Work with SMTT

Need to increase your tourism business? Santa Monica Travel & Tourism can assist to increase your tourism revenues through a number of marketing, advertising (Official Visitors Guide, Official Map) public relations and sales opportunities.

For more information, please find contacts for each department below or visit Santa Monica Travel & Tourism’s Business Opportunities page.

Marketing & Interactive:
Kim Sidoriak, Chief Marketing Officer

Public & Community Relations:
Lauren Salisbury, Public Relations Manager

Partnership Opportunities:
Visit for more information


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