International spending in the US on the rise
This follows a launch to promote the U.S. as a tourist destination, primarily in Japan, Canada, and the UK.
Tourism is a huge part of the valley's economy. The Tram, the Palm Springs Air Museum, the Marilyn Monroe Statue, it draws thousands of visitors each year.
In fact, Palm Springs got more than 1.5 million visitors last year. Many of them international travelers.
In California last year, 702,000 of visitors were from the UK.
Now, a new report released this week by the White House says International tourism numbers are up in the U.S. And Brand USA, a partnership of government agencies and private companies, said Wednesday that international travelers spent 11 percent more in the U.S. during the first eight months of this year.
This follows the launch of its effort to promote the U.S. as a tourist destination, primarily in Japan, Canada, and the UK.
The UK is California's longstanding number one overseas tourism market, according to Visit California, a non-profit organization with a mission to develop marketing programs with the state's travel industry.
The organization says travel and tourism expenditures total over $102 billion annually in California (20% of which is international), support jobs for 893,000 Californians and generates $6.3 billion in state and local tax revenues.
Palm Springs is a top destination for international travelers. Mary Jo Ginther with the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism said the UK is the second biggest group of international visitors to the valley, next to Canadians.
Visit California in conjunction with the state, the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism, and several other travel agencies held it's annual "California SuperFAM" on Sunday. It brings travel agents from the UK and exposes them to some of California's destinations, including Palm Springs.
"This is another way of reaching across the pond to the UK," Ginther said, "The one thing about Palm Springs, everyone knows the name, but it's difficult sometimes if they've never been here to visualize exactly this oasis," she added.
On the tour, travel agents make several stops, including to the Tram, the Palm Springs Art Museum, and Marilyn Monroe, with hopes they'll go back to the UK and market the valley to potential visitors.
"We try to educate all the people in Britain about the various things you can do here, about the variety of this place (Palm Springs) and California," said Louise Evans, UK Public Relations Manager with Visit California.
"The best thing we can do is get them here and they go home to speak to all other travel agents tour operators, consumers, and that's how you get more visitation to your destination," added Ginther.
Experts project that more than 1 million american jobs could be created over the next decade with marketing programs such as Visit California
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