Santa Monica’s domestic and international travel volume now shows continued annual increases, according to a report released by the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) called the 2004 Economic Impact Report.

The report focuses on visitor volume and the economic impact visitors have on Santa Monica.

Overall visitor volume has increased from its previous peak of 3.8 million tourists in 2000 to 4.7 million tourists annually.

Tourist spending is also up to $840.6 million for 2004, with individual daily visitor spending averaging $110.50.

“This crucial research shows the importance of domestic and international overnight hotel guests, who spend more, compared to the day visitor,” said Misti Kerns, president and chief executive officer of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“While overnight hotel visitors comprise only 11 percent of the total number of Santa Monica’s visitors, they contribute nearly half of the total spending,” she said.

In 2004, the city generated $23.8 million in revenue from transient occupancy (hotel) taxes.

Last year, voters approved a hotel tax increase from 12 percent to 14 percent, and forecasts project $27 million in hotel tax revenue this year.

“Such funds provide the city the ability to establish new and improved services for the community, from new parks and capital improvements to social programs and school funding,” Kerns said.

She said Santa Monica’s tourism industry directly supported 9,380 jobs in 2004.

Day visitors make up 85 percent of the total Santa Monica visitor volume.

“Although the majority of marketing efforts by CVB target international and overnight visitors, we recognize the importance of day visitors as well,” said Debbie Lee-Nguyen, CVB vice president of business development.

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