National Tourism Week Kicks Off In Santa Monica

Wednesday, 9 May 2012, 2:31:00 AM

Mirror Staff

Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) kicked-off the 29th Annual National Travel and Tourism Week on Tuesday by participating in the U.S. Travel Rally Day, a national effort to create awareness of the importance of tourism to local communities.

Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom greeted visitors and residents at SMCVB's Visitor Information Center on Ocean Avenue and distributed community pamphlets highlighting the economic impact made by tourism to Santa Monica.

"Tourism supports more than 11,000 sustainable jobs in Santa Monica," said Mayor Bloom. "Today we are celebrating the benefits of travel to our community and the many livelihoods it supports."

Today, May 9 from 1-2 p.m., SMCVB will join six Los Angeles-area destination marketing organizations in a virtual Twitter rally that that will provide industry facts and travel tips.

The state of California's tourism board, Visit California, will moderate the chat, which will reach at least 52,000 worldwide via Twitter. To join in the chat, use the hashtag #LAtravel and follow these handles:

· @SantaMonicaCVB

· @discoverLA

· @MarinaDelRey_CA

· @LoveBevHills

· @westhollywood

· @VisitCA

Next Wednesday, May 16, in partnership with neighboring destinations Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Marina del Rey and West Hollywood, SMCVB will host its 3rd Annual Travel & Tourism Summit at the newly renovated Sheraton Delfina.

The event will highlight Visit California and Brand USA's latest efforts to drive international visitation, the economic impact of tourism and the future outlook for the city's travel landscape.

Key speakers will include Caroline Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California and Vice Chair of the Corporation for Travel Promotion, California Restaurant Association President and CEO Jot Condie, California Travel Association President and CEO John Severini, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom and SMCVB Chairman Ellis O'Connor.

"This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Travel and Tourism Summit is a great opportunity for us to show how far our industry has come," said Misti Kerns, president and CEO of SMCVB.

"Tourism activity supports 14.4 million jobs across the nation and generates more than 1.3 billion dollars to our city. We are thrilled to welcome a diverse group of industry leaders and associations to our summit, who collectively will strengthen the message of how critical tourism is in creating sustainable jobs and a healthy economy."

During the summit, the results of the 2011 Santa Monica Tourism Economic Impact Study, conducted on a regular basis since 1983, will be unveiled.

Nominations will open for the Thelma Parks Tourism Spirit Award, which will recognize local hospitality-industry employees for their spirit and exemplary customer service.

For more information about the summit and to RSVP, visit www.santamonica.com/summit-invite or call 310.319.6263.

Deadline to RSVP is Friday, May 11 and space is limited.

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