On the occasion of the U.S. Travel Association’s 40th National Travel and Tourism Week, Visit Greater Palm Springs announced the results of its 2022 Economic Impact of Visitors in Greater Palm Springs study. Post-pandemic, the destination has exceeded all prior records after achieving its previous highest economic impact in 2019 at $7.5 billion.
One of the most important data points included in the study reveals an estimate of 14.1 million visitors who came to the region in 2022. That figure for the annual visitor count is more than one million greater than in 2021; and roughly the same amount as before the pandemic in 2019.
In 2022, the tourism industry generated $8.7 billion in total economic impact to Greater Palm Springs, surpassing tourism’s economic impact in 2019 by 16% and in 2021 by 28%. This continuing upward trajectory of the industry bolsters tourism’s social benefits by supporting jobs, decreasing the amount of taxes local residents have to pay for the same level of essential services, and increasing visitor spending at local businesses.
Developed in conjunction with Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, the report shows that visitor travel spending increased 26% from 2021 across all sectors bringing in a total of $7.1 billion in spending, equating to more than $19 million each day in visitor spending across the region. This increase in tourism and visitation provided $812 million in state & local tax revenues to support essential services and saves each household in Greater Palm Springs $5,000 in taxes.
Another key highlight from the study is the number of local jobs in the sector. According to the study, 49,137 jobs in the Greater Palm Springs region were sustained by tourism in 2022. This represents one in four jobs in Greater Palm Springs, from executive and management roles to frontline staff and entrepreneurs across a range of sectors that includes lodging, food and beverage, retail, recreation, entertainment, transportation, and more. The data illustrates a great success story of the destination’s job force recovery, as tourism-generated job numbers had dipped down to 37,251 in 2021.
“Our goal is to promote our unique and diverse destination to the world while advancing regional collaboration to improve the quality of life for our residents and partners,” said Scott White, President & CEO, Visit Greater Palm Springs. “The impact of tourism continues to play a key role in supporting this mission to our community. We feel a great sense of purpose that our industry supports local businesses, jobs, and residents alike, and we are committed to the future success of tourism. I am proud of our team and grateful for the support and leadership from our Board of Directors and our JPA Executive Committee, which allowed our team to elevate sales and marketing efforts before and after the pandemic. This has kept our destination top of mind with both consumers and group clients.”
“Tourism is the number one industry in the Coachella Valley and continues to play a key role in Greater Palm Springs’ economy,” said Rolf Hoehn, Board of Directors Chair, Visit Greater Palm Springs and Director of Business Development for Desert Champions LLC/Indian Wells Tennis Garden. “With continued and growing interest in our destination by visitors from around the world, we celebrate the industry and its powerful contribution to support our region and its residents.”
“Regional collaboration among the valley cities has been a pillar of our tourism ecosystem, allowing us to grow domestic and international awareness of all that the entire Coachella Valley has to offer,” said Gary Gardner, Desert Hot Springs City Council Member and Visit Greater Palm Springs Joint Powers Authority Chair. “The jobs generated, the money spent by visitors, and the taxes generated, all support so many of the vital resources in our communities which in turn directly impacts our residents’ way of life.”
Established in 1983 by the U.S. Travel Association, National Travel and Tourism Week is an annual celebration of the U.S. travel community and travel’s essential role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, inspiring new businesses, and elevating the quality of life for Americans every day. Each year the initiative has a new theme, with 2023 being “travel forward,” spotlighting the industry’s essential role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating diverse communities, creating fresh job opportunities, inspiring new businesses, and uniting millions of Americans in a fundamental connection – travel.
While the U.S. Travel Association has adopted the “forward” thematic direction for 2023, Visit Greater Palm Springs has been committed to progressing the industry for years, moving from a marketing organization created in 1989 to leading destination management. The organization continues to have a special interest in creating a robust talent pipeline from the local community to good jobs by strengthening the connection between education and hospitality; championing a welcoming and inclusive resident and visitor experience through DEI initiatives; and conserving the destination’s resources, both culturally and physically, through responsible tourism leadership and messaging.