Office of the City Manager

Pasadena Tourism Helps Boost Local Economy!

Pasadena Tourism Helps Boost Local Economy!


PASADENA, Calif. – Meetings and tourism generate millions of dollars for Pasadena and its surrounding communities each year.  According to a recent study, in 2011 visitor expenditures generated $475.4 million in revenue for the city, a 6 percent increase from 2010 and a 12.6% increase from 2008.  The tourism industry captured $10.4 million in measurable tax revenues for Pasadena, up 8 percent from 2010 but still down 6.8 percent from its high in 2008.  

“These figures reaffirm the enormous significance the local hospitality industry and the visitors it attracts have on Pasadena’s economy,” said Michael Ross, CEO, Pasadena Center Operating Company.  “Even during the tough economic times of the past few years, people still continued to vacation, albeit closer to home. They also continued to attend meetings and conventions, which historically are a mainstay during an economic downturn.” 

Pasadena’s tourism industry supported 2,383 jobs in 2011, up from 2,323 in 2010. The job figures continued to increase from a low of 2,311 in 2009 but have not yet bounced back to the 2008 figure of 2,603. 

“We are definitely starting to see signs of economic improvement in Pasadena’s hospitality sector,” Ross said.  “Tax revenues and job numbers are still down from peak 2008 figures, but they have climbed moderately every year since 2009.” 

Pasadena’s hotel and motel guests are responsible for 57 percent of total visitor spending. Convention and meeting delegates follow, with 24.6 percent of visitor spending credited to this group.  (This includes day-visit meeting and tradeshow attendees only.  Overnight convention delegate expenditures are reflected in the hotel/motel guest figure.) Private house guests round out the mix, accounting for 18.4 percent of visitor expenditures.


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“As this study shows, the majority of visitor spending can be attributed to overnight visitors, many of whom come to Pasadena for a meeting or convention,” Ross said. In addition to lodging the biggest expenditures for these guests are food, retail and entertainment. This translates into revenue for the city’s retailers, restaurants and museums, just to name a few.  

The study also shows a dramatic increase in the economic impact of meetings and tradeshows over the past few years. This positive news can be attributed directly to the expanded Pasadena Convention Center. In 2009, with the new space fully operational, the total economic impact from this sector increased a whopping 107.7 percent to $115.1 million, up from just $55.4 million in 2008. Even with recent economic challenges, modest gains were made each year with a total impact of $115.2 million in 2010 and $117.1 million in 2011.  

“Pasadena and its businesses are definitely reaping the rewards of the Convention Center expansion,” Ross said.  “Now we attract large groups that we couldn’t accommodate before like the Los Angeles County Science Fair with its 4,000 attendees and the Salvation Army’s reunion with its record-breaking 5,400 delegates.” 

The forecast for continued recovery from the recession is good. “When the final figures from 2012 are tallied, tourism’s impact on Pasadena is expected to exceed 2011 figures,” said PKF Consulting’s Senior Vice President Bruce Baltin.  “Much of the reason is due to increases in hotel occupancy and higher room rates.  Even further growth is expected in 2013.”  

According to the United States Travel Association, the increase in travel expenditures from tourists visiting Pasadena is representative of a trend seen nationwide.  In 2011, overall travel expenditures surpassed the $800 billion mark for the first time, passing the 2008 peak of $773 billion. Paralleling the trend, in 2011, visitors pumped more than $102.3 billion into California’s economy, up 7.6 percent from the $95.1 billion that was spent in the golden state in 2010.  California also remains the number one destination in the U.S. for domestic travelers.  

The Pasadena Center Operating Company, which oversees the Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, Pasadena Civic Auditorium and Pasadena Ice Skating Center, commissioned PFK Consulting to conduct the economic impact study in late 2012. 

For more information, contact the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) at (626) 795-9311 or log on to VisitPasadena.com .  The Pasadena CVB is a non-profit organization dedicated to marketing the city of Pasadena as a desirable meeting, convention and leisure travel destination. 

Editor’s Note: Interviews with Pasadena Center Operating Company CEO Michael Ross and PKF Consulting Senior Vice President Bruce Baltin can be arranged.   

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News Media Contact: Janet Zaldua, Director of Communications, Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau, (626) 395-0211, jzaldua@visitpasadena.com  


Posted: 4/29/2013 08:00:00 PM
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