SANTA MONICA—According to a news release from the Santa Monica Travel and Tourism website, in 2017, visitor spending in the city of Santa Monica amounted to $1.96 billion. That is a 5.1 percent increase from previous years. The number was revealed by the Santa Monica Travel and Tourism (SMTT) at the annual Travel & Tourism Summit. The summit transpired on May 9 at the Jonathan Beach Club.

“The research we shared clearly shows the vitality of our local tourism industry,” said SMTT President/CEO Misti Kerns. “When we gathered together last year there was much uncertainty about how tourism would be impacted by unprecedented political situations and global events. Despite this uncertainty, the community of Santa Monica came together across all industries, and because of this unity continues to thrive.”

The summit provided updates on SMTT’s sales and marketing initiatives. The organization’s current numbers and it’s financial impact to the city was also revealed. A local travel industry that drives the city’s economy sustained highlighted growth, reported the SMTT’s 2017 Tourism Economic and Fiscal Impact summary.

More than $54 million will be going to the city of Santa Monica’s general fund for the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). TOT’s contribution will play an important role in funding city services such as, police and fire departments, homeless services, maintenance of parks and beaches.

President/CEO of Visit California Caroline Beteta indicated that Santa Monica’s tourism industry growth had an impact reflective of the state-wide travel industry. The tourism economy of California expanded in 2017. It helped more than $132 million in travel spending, $10.9 billion in tax revenue and 1.1 million jobs in the state.

“Tourism brings economic prosperity to every region in California,” said Beteta. “The money visitors spend creates hundreds of thousands of jobs for Californians and generates billions of dollars of tax revenue to fund vital local services.”