Tourism Update – July 2019

Posted July 31, 2019

SMTT Becomes First U.S. DMO to Launch Douyin Account

As part of its on-going social media efforts to target the China market, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) and Hylink, its advertising agency for China, launched a Douyin account earlier this year, making SMTT the first destination marketing organization (DMO) in the United States to create such an account. This also complements SMTT’s existing digital efforts on WeChat and Weibo, two of China’s most widely used social media apps, where SMTT has had a presence since 2017.

With 500 million monthly active users, Douyin is the most popular short-video app in China and one of the most downloaded apps in the world. The app is based on short, user-posted videos with music that is 15 seconds long. These types of short videos have rapidly grown in popularity with both consumers and travel brands because they offer a fun and engaging way to show off destinations rather than using static photos and written content. Unlike other Chinese social media apps, Douyin also has the potential to reach a wider audience given that content is not restricted to users following specific accounts.

SMTT posts a new video on Douyin each week, aimed at highlighting the array of experiences, shops, restaurants and hotels in our beach city. Some of videos posted to date include a musical montage of Santa Monica’s vibrant street murals, a fashion “twirl” of Montana Ave’s boutique-lined streets and a walk through of an oceanfront hotel room with panoramic beach views. These videos are targeted to Douyin’s young and dynamic users, 40% of whom live in Tier 1 & 2 cities in China where there is greater access to direct flights to Los Angeles.

Since launching the account in February, SMTT has seen strong growth in engagement with an average engagement rate of 4.06% and average monthly views of 7,960. We look forward to continuing these efforts to create and share more videos that inspire Chinese travelers to play, stay and shop in Santa Monica!

SMTT Hosts De-Escalation Training for Hotel Security Personnel

Last month, SMTT gathered Security Personnel from local hotels to facilitate an expert training session to educate the staff of effective methods for de-escalating anxious, hostile or challenging individuals.

Sergeant Maury Sumlin, a 32-year veteran of the Santa Monica Police Department conducted the session. Sgt. Sumlin has been responsible for teaching both Defensive Tactics and De-Escalation Techniques to all Sworn and Civilian Personnel of the Santa Monica Police Department as well as all employees of the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus for over 25 years.

In addition, this unique partnership with SMPD allowed for the creation of a direct line of communication between the various hotel security personnel and local law enforcement.  This new approach to communication among hotel security and with the police department aids in identifying potential patterns of incidents, thus possibly preventing further criminal activity from occurring elsewhere.

This direct form of communication also acts a conduit between SMTT, the hotel and city personnel in the event of a civic emergency or natural disaster.

There are plans to expand the training sessions in Fall 2019 to include other hotel staff, including housekeeping and the front office. We are very excited about the continued partnership and for these sessions to lead to more streamlined communication that ultimately leads to a safer community. Thank you to the Santa Monica Police Department!

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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