Marina del Rey’s New Visitor Survey and 2017 Economic Impact Report Analysis
One of the most desirable destinations along the Los Angeles coast, Marina del Rey (visitmarinadelrey.com) continues to see a substantial benefit from a modernizing renaissance, which is driving increased tourism numbers and related economic impact. Over the course of 2017, the Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau conducted a survey of incoming visitors and collected data for its annual report on the economic impact that tourism has on Marina del Rey.
Why Visitors Love Marina del Rey
The Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau commissioned Destination Analysts to conduct its first ever visitor profile and destination brand perception study throughout 2017. Directed at surveying visitors’ trip behaviors and activities, the study determined key data such as purpose of trip, personal impressions of the Marina, transportation methods used in market, activities participated in, trip-planning methods used, and other Los Angeles area destinations visited as part of the same trip. The research shared overwhelmingly positive reviews with 93.8 percent of visitors expressing they were “likely” or “very likely” to return to Marina del Rey and 89.4 percent revealing they booked their trip to Marina del Rey for the accessibility to the beach. Other data gathered highlighted the top three reasons for booking a trip to Marina del Rey included a vacation, a weekend getaway, and business travel and most visit the Marina with a spouse or significant other.
“Marina del Rey is not only a beautiful place to live, it’s an incredible place to visit,” says Janice Hahn, Los Angeles County’s Fourth District Supervisor. “This survey shows, despite multiple projects under construction, that the Marina continues to be a place that attracts tourists from around the world to eat, play, and shop.”
“Marina del Rey is an urban waterfront playground that offers tourists resort-like amenities, exceptional hotel accommodations, and dining experiences with breathtaking Marina views,” says Janet Zaldua, CEO of the Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The positive feedback from our 2017 visitors survey underscores the significance of our local tourism and hospitality businesses that help position Marina del Rey as a premier leisure destination in Southern California. Our economic impact study emphasizes the value that tourism brings to the community of Marina del Rey and to Los Angeles County as a whole.”
Destination Analysts collected 961 surveys throughout the year at locations around Marina del Rey including the ArtSea Party on the Beach festival, Foghorn Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Fisherman’s Village, Hornblower Cruises and Events, Marina Spooktacular Halloween festival, Summer Concert Series at Burton Chace Park, Marina “Mother’s” Beach, and Marina del Rey’s Visitors Center. Key findings:
• Important factors in destination selection included: 51.7 percent citing scenic beauty, 47.6 percent overall ambiance and atmosphere, 47.5 percent weather, 37.5 percent restaurants and dining, and 31.7 percent outdoor recreational activities.
• Top trip activities included: 70.4 percent visited a beach, 55.3 percent dined in restaurants, 36.1 percent shopped, 30.1 percent attended a festival or event, and 20.2 percent visited a local park.
• Top reasons for choosing a hotel in the Marina included: 39.4 percent for proximity to the ocean/beach, 34.1 percent cited Marina del Rey’s relaxing atmosphere, and 31.8 percent for the walkability of the destination to activities and attractions of interest.
• Top cited descriptions of Marina del Rey included beautiful, relaxing, fun, family-friendly, welcoming and walkable.
The Economic Impact of Tourism on Marina del Rey
Additionally, the Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau commissioned CBRE Hotels to conduct its annual tourism study. The 2017 research included a full analysis of economic impact of tourism on Marina del Rey, measuring visitor spending, number of jobs supported by tourism, and associated tax revenue generated from visitors during the year. In 2017, the economic impact is estimated at $418,510,000, an increase of 4 percent over 2016. Other research findings included:
• Total direct visitor spending in 2017 is estimated at $321,930,417, a 4 percent increase from 2016.
• Tourism in Marina del Rey supported an estimated 2,991 jobs in 2017, a 6 percent increase from 2016.
• Total measurable tax revenues for Marina del Rey were approximately $12.6 million in 2017, an increase of 4 percent from 2016.
Where the Money Goes: Tourism Dollars Benefit Visitors and Locals Alike
Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), commonly known as hotel tax, collected from the six hotels that fall within the Marina boundary partially funds visitor-serving events, attractions, and programs, all of which benefit local residents as well. The initial $700,000 in TOT revenue goes to the L.A. County General Fund. Any hotel tax over $700,000 is allocated to the Department of Beaches and Harbors to use specifically for visitor serving projects in Marina del Rey. In 2017, that amount totaled $3.4 million, and it funded events and programs including:
• Snow Wonder and Marina Spooktacular community festivals.
• Holiday lights program with weekend entertainment.
• Live music element added to summer season Beach Eats food truck gatherings (debuts summer 2018).
• New Year’s Eve Fireworks Celebration with two fireworks shows and a family-friendly Glow Party.
• Popular musical acts for the award-winning summer concert series.
• Development of a public youth sailing program.
• Sponsorship support for The Free Ride, a daily on-demand free shuttle service in the Marina.
• More robust advertising efforts for community events and programs.
The Marina’s Continued Evolution
The future of Marina del Rey will include more excitement and growth from both County infrastructure improvements and private enterprises. Here are a few recently completed projects, plus others coming soon.
• New dinghy dock at Fisherman’s Village, completed in 2017.
• Visitors Center renovations and expansion, completed in 2018.
• Improvements to Yvonne Burke Park par course, to be completed in 2018.
• Marina Beach public facilities renovation, to be completed in 2018.
• Renovation of the Boathouse community meeting and event space at Burton Chace Park, to be completed in 2018.
• The waterfront commercial project on Admiralty Way known as Pier 44 will include specialty retailers like Trader Joe’s and West Marine, dining options, and guest docks for boaters. Completion is anticipated in 2019-2020.
• Two new Marina del Rey hotels, Courtyard Marriott and Residence Inn, expected to break ground in 2018.
The economic impact study is limited to overnight visitors who stay in hotels and private homes located in Marina del Rey and does not reflect the impact of other visitors to Marina del Rey who stay in lodging facilities outside of the community’s boundaries or those that utilize Airbnb or other vacation rental services.
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About Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau
Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization that promotes leisure and business travel for Los Angeles’ premier waterfront destination. Situated along the Los Angeles coastline and only four miles from LAX, Marina del Rey is the largest small craft, man-made harbor in North America and is the gateway to Southern California, offering sparkling marina views, on-the-water recreation, waterfront dining, and contemporary hotels just steps from the water’s edge – all walking distance from world-famous Venice Beach.