More than 2 million travelers took flights in and out of Palm Springs International Airport in 2017, a 5.1 percent increase over the previous year, it was announced Wednesday.

Data from airlines with Palm Springs routes showed that 2,100,072 passengers traveled through the airport last year, compared to 1,998,206 in 2016.

City leaders touted the uptick as a sign of the Coachella Valley’s allure to visitors, with annual events like the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals and Modernism Week, to major sporting events like the BNP Paribas Open and CareerBuilder Challenge, serving as major draws.

“Visitors from around the world are recognizing that Palm Springs is seriously one of the coolest resort destinations in the world,” said Mary Jo Ginther, director of the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism, who added that “the resurgence of the Palm Springs destination is truly exciting and our brand continues to reinvent itself for every generation of resident and visitor. We have a lot to celebrate.”

City officials said $40 million in airport improvements have been approved by the city council over the last decade. Last week, the council also unanimously voted to allow ridehailing companies like Uber or Lyft to pick up passengers directly at the terminal, rather than outside the airport property, which city Manager David Ready called “excellent news,”

“The city council has always recognized the importance of tourism to our local economy and is committed to ensuring that flying in and out of Palm Springs International Airport is easy, convenient and stress-free,” he said.

–City News Service

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