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Visitors Pumped Nearly $2 Billion into Santa Monica Economy, Tourism Officials Report

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

By Jorge Casuso

May 8, 2019 -- Santa Monica's thriving tourism industry pumped $1.93 billion into the local economy last year, with more than $58 million in bed taxes going directly into the City's coffers, tourism officials reported Wednesday.

The annual figures were unveiled at Santa Monica Travel & Tourism’s (SMTT) 10th annual summit, which highlighted "the sustained growth of Santa Monica’s travel industry," agency officials said.

Tourism, which supports 12,614 local jobs, "drives the city’s economy with its visitor spending, job creation and generated tax revenue," officials said.

Santa Monica hotels continued to be among the strongest in the region, with an average occupancy of 85.7 percent last year and an average daily rate of $351, according to the 2018 Tourism Economic and Fiscal Impact report.

“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 SMTT’s President/CEO Misti 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,” Kerns said.

Visitors spent $1.45 billion on retail goods and services generating $14.5 million in sales taxes, according to the report.

Combined with the $58 million in bed taxes, the tourism industry generated the equivalent of $1,540 per Santa Monica household in taxes that pay for City services.

According to the report, hotel visitors spent an average of $394 per day, while day visitors spent an average of $93.

Of the total visitors, 82 percent were international visitors and 48 percent were domestic. Foreign visitors accounted for 59 percent of the total spending, while domestic visitors accounted for 41 percent.

Ten percent of the international visitors were from Australia, New Zealand and England. Other "top feeder markets" were Germany (8.7 percent), Canada (8.5 percent), Italy (7.4 percent) and Scandinavia (7.2 percent.

Of the domestic visitors, 22.4 percent were from California, 9.9 percent from Arizona, 5.4 percent from Texas and Florida, 2.7 percent from Oregon and Georgia and 2.2 percent from Utah.

According to the report 82 percent of the visitors walked to get around the City once they arrived.

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