NAMES DON’T MAKE TOWNS, PEOPLE DO

If names make the place, Santa Monica, which was founded in 1875, would still be struggling for recognition.
It was named “Santa Monica” by a priest who was on his way, on foot, to a new town on the coast, when he
crossed a spring, which reminded him of Saint Monica’s tears, He told everyone about the tears of Saint
Monica, and the new town on the beach became Santa Monica.

A nun, she was made a saint by the church, because she wept fulsomely and constantly about her son, Augustine.
He was constantly in trouble, and his mother was sure it would end badly, and so she cried and cried and cried, and so the church made her a saint, and the town’s residents named their new town for a Saint they’d never
heard of.

Of course, Augustine became a saint, too, and he was far more renowned than his mother – to the surprise of no one but his mother. We were reminded of all this, because the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau has
been playing name games recently,

Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau (SMCVB), ”the private, non-profit organization responsible for the promotion of Santa Monica as a conference, business and leisure travel destination has just its long-running tourist bureau to Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT). It looks like a monogram and sounds like a metal alloy.
Or nasal spray.

According to SMTT CEO/President Misti Kerns, “The general consensus was that our former name confused visitors
and clients…” But at least it said something, however vague. SMTT says nothing,

Ellis O’Connor, MSD Hospitality and chairman of the SMTT Board of Directors, said, “The intensively competitive landscape of travel and tourism continues to grow both domestically and internationally, forcing us to look deeper into the positioning of Santa Monica as a destination. We have responded accordingly, coining a new name that better reflects our destination and clarifies the efforts and objectives of the organization to consumers and professional buyers.”

Clearly, it’s no longer a place. It’s a product, a product called SMTT.

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