Pacific Park (File photo)

By the Numbers – Santa Monica Tourism Saw Strong Growth in 2017

Tourism works for all of Santa Monica. At Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT), we’ve been tracking tourism’s economic impact to the community since 1983, and, according to our 2017 data, this past year Santa Monica tourism remained solid, producing record volume, spending, taxes and employment. These are all indicators that demonstrate great value and provide for our unique lifestyle for those of us who are lucky enough to call this beachside city home.

At SMTT we define a visitor as a person who resides outside of the Los Angeles region. The average daily spend for an overnight visitor is significantly higher than that of a day visitor, and thus our programs focus on driving balanced demand to the destination and targeting visitors that provide the highest economic value to the city and the least environmental impact. Let’s take a look at tourism by the numbers with these five key figures that explain the economic impact of our hospitality industry.

$1.96 Billion – Total Annual Visitor Spending

In 2017, visitors spent a record-breaking $1.96 billion in the city of Santa Monica. This is an increase of 5.1%. Visitor spending within the accommodation, dining, retail and activity spaces continues to be a true economic engine for the city, and a fundamental element of the strength of our local economy. In fact, many of our favorite local businesses are able to thrive because of the balance between locals and out of town guests.

$54.3 Million – Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)

This past year, $54.3 million was generated by Santa Monica’s hotels directly to the City of Santa Monica’s general fund. This is a 6.7% increase from 2016. TOT is a tax placed on hotel/motel room rentals that collects from overnight visitors into the City’s general fund and is used to support critical city services such as schools, police and fire, parks and libraries.

13,345 – Number of Santa Monica Jobs Supported by Tourism

Santa Monica’s tourism industry generates 13,345 local jobs. These are local Santa Monica tourism jobs that cannot be exported. The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board reports that the leisure and hospitality industry is one of Los Angeles County’s largest and strongest economic sectors, employing one in every nine workers.

$1,379 – Tax Savings Tourism Provides Residents

To receive the same level of city services Santa Monica residents currently experience, it is estimated that each Santa Monica household would have to pay an additional $1,379 in property taxes to maintain city services if tourism revenues and the Transient Occupancy Tax did not exist.

83% — Percentage of Overnight Visitors Who Don’t Use a Car to Get Around

Preserving the environment and our way of life are important to all of us in Santa Monica. With this in mind it’s especially wonderful news to learn that 83% of overnight visitors in 2017 did not use a car to get around Santa Monica once they arrived, a 28.9% increase since 2010. SMTT continually pushes out messaging that encourages visitors to go use alternative transportation.

Our vital local tourism industry continues to be one of the largest contributors to Santa Monica’s local economy in a record breaking year. For a full look at tourism’s economic impact, please visit