CITYWIDE — Visitors from Europe’s biggest economy spiked this fall.

Sales among German travelers rose 8 percent for the month of September and 4.2 percent for October, according to a report from the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).

The September boost pushed overall summer sales up by nearly 2 percent, the report said.

“Demand was particularly strong for departure in October,” the CVB’s report said, “when most of the country had a two-week autumn half-term holiday break.”

The CVB, along with visitors bureaus from a bunch of other California destinations, launched a four-week marketing campaign aimed at getting German tourists to visit the state for longer than 48 hours.

Even before the campaign was launched, the trends were looking good across the board.

Stays in Santa Monica rose to 4.8 nights this summer, up from 3.8 nights last summer. One in three visitors spent the night, compared to 29 percent in the summer of 2013.

Length of stays had fallen slightly in the spring, down to an average of 3.3 nights in a hotel compared with 3.5 nights the spring prior. Guests staying in private homes fell in the spring as well, from nearly seven nights in 2013 to 4.3 in 2014.

Group spending was up during both the summer and the spring. The average group spent $343 per day this summer, a more than $60 jump from the year prior. Spring spending jumped to $319 from $271. Spring guests were also more satisfied with their stays than in years passed. About 87 percent said they were highly satisfied and 41 percent said they noticed improvements in the city.

Most summer visitors, 62 percent, were from outside of the United States. The top international market was Western Europe, followed by Australia and New Zealand, and then the United Kingdom and Ireland. Central and Eastern European travelers were the forth largest group this summer and Asia rounded out the list.

Most U.S. tourists were from California, followed by New York, Florida, Texas and Washington.

In the spring, 58 percent of tourists were from outside the country, up 4 percent from the year prior.

According to a CVB report, most people, about 79 percent of visitors, walked to get around the city this summer.

The Santa Monica Shuttle program, which offers free rides to hotel guests and visitors, provided more than 30,000 free, electric rides between May and late September, earning the CVB an award from the Western Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

In July, Santa Monica added a stop on Los Angeles International Airport’s FlyAway bus, which takes visitors and locals to and from the airport for $8.

dave@www.smdp.com

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.