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Tourism and the Salton Sea

Various surveys conducted by Visit Greater Palm Springs (Visit GPS) have consistently revealed that the millions who visit the Coachella Valley are attracted to the area, in a large part, because of the high quality of our destination’s idyllic environment, including fresh clean air, clear night skies and bright sunny weather. In light of Visit GPS' mission and purpose, the restoration of the Salton Sea is a particularly important issue to Visit GPS. We are dedicated to assisting in finding solutions by raising awareness with this vital study and promoting public support with education and on-going campaigns to raise attention to the urgent need to save the Salton Sea.    

About Tourism in Greater Palm Springs

Tourism is the number one industry in Greater Palm Springs, sustaining one in four jobs and touching every sector of our daily life. All of us who live in the Coachella Valley benefit from the nearly 13 million visitors who generate more than $6 billion for our economy each year – shopping in local stores, dining in restaurants, boosting attendance at area attractions and staying at our hotels.

Further decay of the Salton Sea poses a threat to Greater Palm Springs tourism demand as resulting “bad smell” events and dust storms deter visitors. A review of similar events – such as harmful algal blooms (HABs) and red tides – and natural and man-made disasters reveals that their impact can be dramatic and endures beyond the individual event due to brand damage and traveler misperceptions.

Economic Impact of the Salton Sea

The degradation of the Salton Sea could cost the Greater Palm Springs region between $1.3 billion and $6.5 billion in lost tourism spending over five years. The resulting total economic loss would range from $1.7 billion to $8.6 billion, including indirect supply chain and induced income effects. State and local taxes could experience up to a cumulative $712 million loss, and the total employment loss in the region could approach 3,200 jobs in that same period.

Visit GPS is dedicated to finding solutions by raising awareness of the urgent need to save the Salton Sea. Visit GPS partnered with Tourism Economics to research the potential impact the Salton Sea will have on tourism if nothing is done.

Visit GPS has also concluded a study that looks at the potential economic benefits of a Revitalized Salton Sea, to be available here.

Key Contacts & Groups

Collaboration is imperative to raising awareness and working to gain support for the Salton Sea’s revitalization. Visit GPS is working on many levels—local, state and federal—as well as many organizations with the same goal. Sharing the involved list of key contacts is one way we can mentor support and collaboration.

Awareness through the Media

At Visit GPS, we work daily to tell our destination’s story in articles, videos and through social media. We also work daily with journalists and media outlets both nationally and internationally. The Salton Sea is an important part of our story, a place of history, beauty, recreation and possibilities for future adventures.

Doing Your Part to Save the Sea

If you live in Greater Palm Springs or love to visit, the future of the Salton Sea impacts you directly. Even though there is a big task ahead to revitalize the Salton Sea, you can be a part of the solution in several important ways.

You can call or write a letter of support to your legislator or the Governor. You should also be aware of the important factors concerning proposed bills that will fund the revitalization of the Salton Sea and vote to support them.

If you want to be more involved, consider being involved in these groups that work to bring awareness of the Salton Sea through programs and recreation.

For more information about the Salton Sea, visit the Salton Sea Authority.

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