Twilight Concert Series

The Santa Monica Travel & Tourism summer 2015 statistics on visitor behavior and spending show increases in areas like spending and decreases in certain types of visitors headed to town.

The report states that the overall average daily group spending rose to $373 (up from $343 in 2014) and total daily spending of hotel guests rose to $887 (up from $721 in 2014).

The average overnight stay in Santa Monica was comparable to 2014 at 4.4 nights, according to the report.

Of those who arrived in the L.A. region 77 percent came by commercial airline, up from 71 percent last year, the report stated.

According to the report, international visitation to Santa Monica dipped slightly to 55 percent (compared to 62 percent in 2014), but the report states that the increase in airline arrivals to the L.A. region indicates an increase in more longer-haul U.S. visitation. The City also saw a 5-percent decrease in first-time visitors, although repeat visitors went up 5 percent.

Of those who visited Santa Monica, nearly everyone cited Santa Monica as a destination on their overall trip to the region, while 19 percent named the City their main destination, the report stated.

The report stated that visiting for pleasure/leisure is still the top reason for visiting Santa Monica, as 63 percent of visitors cited that as the purpose for their visit.

Santa Monica’s economy is support heavily by the tourism industry.

“Tourism really helps to add and enhance to the quality of life in Santa Monica just by the sheer variety of visitors from all around the world that it attracts to our community,” economic development administrator for the City, Jennifer Taylor, said. “And [tourists] in turn help to support our local businesses. Obviously that helps to make possible all of the variety and quality of restaurants and bars and cultural opportunities that we have here in Santa Monica that a city of our size elsewhere in the country wouldn’t be able to have the benefit of without all of our visitors that SMTT helps to attract to the City.”

The city tourism agency and Lauren Schlau Consulting conduct quarterly visitor studies to assess visitor behavior and spending throughout the City.

Opening the door to China

On Oct. 8, Santa Monica’s tourism agency hosted a luncheon in San Gabriel for more than 30 tour operators and media serving the Chinese market.

At the luncheon, SMTT presented the advantages of staying in Santa Monica during a visit to the Los Angeles area.

The conversation was followed by a survey that highlighted the business currently booked by local Chinese receptive operators. The survey noted that group rates are generally under $100 per night and a メluxuryモ hotel is considered to be priced at over $200 per night. The survey also indicated that メChinese language information/Social media presence/Media exposure would help influence booking.” The tour operators stated that they would also like fixed itinerary tours and packages.

The tourism agency also co-hosted a China Ready Seminar on Oct. 28 with Visit California and China Union Pay during which 70 attendees learned about how they can prepare for Chinese visitors, understand the Chinese market and culture, and serve that country’s travel needs.

jennifer@www.smdp.com