By Misti Kerns
The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce recognized the local tourism industry for its key contributions to the economy with the 2019 Economic Excellence Award during its State of the City on February 6, 2019.
“On behalf of the entire tourism community in Santa Monica, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) is honored to be recognized for our industry’s contributions to our local economy,” said Misti Kerns, President/CEO of SMTT.
“Take a walk along the pier or on our beaches and you are bound to be greeted by a myriad of languages and just as many smiles. Santa Monica is known worldwide as a destination for dreamers, a city that welcomes all and a place to come as you are. The tourism industry welcomes visitors from across the globe to soak up the essence of the California lifestyle. And what do visitors do in exchange for this experience? They not only make our city more diverse and interesting, but also contribute tenfold with the economic and employment impact they provide our community.”
Tourism is an industry that employees 13,345 individuals in Santa Monica doing jobs that cannot be exported. Through hotel transient occupancy tax over the last decade hotels have delivered nearly $440 million to the city’s general fund with a record breaking $66 million in 2018 alone. Sales tax generated by visitors has been estimated at nearly $90 million over the last ten years.
Santa Monica’s local businesses thrive thanks to the careful balance of both residents and tourists. Visitors contribute to many facets of our community spending annually $346 million dining in our restaurants and $790 million supporting brick and mortar retailers, directly benefiting small business owners to make Santa Monica a place that is truly powered by the people.
Each year State of the City brings together businesses and resident communities to hear from the City Manager and Mayor about Santa Monica’s newest initiatives and features entrepreneurs who speak to the latest trends and innovations regionally and globally. This year’s event featured a panel with City Manager Rick Cole, Deputy City Manager Anuj Gupta, President of Halogen Ventures Jesse Draper, and Longview Global Advisors consultant DJ Peterson.
I can’t wait to go. Sounds perfect and makes me want to pack, run out there and join in. Other areas should acquire those attitudes and beliefs. That was an entirely edifying article!
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