Visitor spending, tourism jobs, room revenues up
Total economic impact of tourism in region hits $7 billion
Visitor spending in Greater Palm Springs has increased 10 percent in the last two years, to $5.5 billion, and one in every four jobs is sustained by the tourism industry, according to the “2017 Report on the Economic Impact of Tourism in Greater Palm Springs.” Tourism’s total impact in the region, the study notes, amounted to $7 billion in 2017, a 9 percent increase over the last two years. The study, conducted by Tourism Economics on behalf of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), offers a comprehensive analysis of the tourism industry’s effect on tax generation, employment and wages in the region for 2017.
“Tourism is an economic powerhouse in Greater Palm Springs: a job creator, tax generator, and pillar of our regional economy,” said Scott White, President and CEO of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The destination’s cultural, dining, and wellness experiences – paired with our stunning backdrop of mountains and desert – translate into an unparalleled visitor experience, and the tourism spending to prove it.”
Tourism spans nearly a dozen sectors including lodging, recreation, retail, real estate, air passenger transport, food and beverage, car rental, taxi services, travel agents, museums and theme parks. According to the study, the tourism sector supported 51,866 jobs, or 22 percent of employment in Greater Palm Springs in 2017, making tourism the top employer in the region. The industry has added nearly 1,200 jobs per year in the area since 2010. Employees in Greater Palm Springs earned $1.6 billion as a result of visitor activity in 2017.
The tax benefits of a healthy tourism sector are substantial, White noted. Tourism generated a total of $1 billion in taxes in 2017, including state and local tax proceeds of $592 million. The study reports that each household would need to pay $3,719 annually to maintain the current level of government services in the absence of these tourism-generated state and local taxes.
Among the study’s other findings:
- Lodging revenue surged 15 percent over 2015, and room demand grew by 6 percent.
- Although more visitors came to Greater Palm Springs for the day (55 percent), overnight visitors spent more while in the area, accounting for 62 percent of total visitor spending.
- International visitors accounted for 4 percent of visitation, but nearly 10 percent of total visitor spending ($0.5 billion).
- Just over 1 million inbound passengers came through Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) in 2017, 12 percent more than in 2015, with international arrivals from Canada accounting for an increasing share of the total.
Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the official tourism agency for the entire Coachella Valley, providing sales, marketing and promotional efforts targeted to potential leisure and convention group markets. The CVB serves more than 2,000 business partners throughout Riverside County’s nine-city region of Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella.
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