California Tourism, a Driver of the State Economy, Powers Regional Success

After nine consecutive years of growth, California’s travel and tourism economy continues to surge.    Visitors pumped more than $140 billion in travel spending in the last year, stimulating business development and providing Californians with more than one million jobs.

Tourism powers regional economies. In San Diego County alone, tourism generated $11.5 billion in travel-related spending, resulting in 194,000 jobs in local communities.

Increased travel spending is leading to record-setting hotel construction and more than $4 billion in annual investments in theme park, restaurant, and other tourism-related infrastructure.  These projects are creating secondary employment effects, generating high-quality jobs in building and construction.

Not only does tourism support the state and regional economies, the industry is a boon for city and county budgets. Last year, visitor spending generated $11.8 billion in tax revenue for state and local jurisdictions and was among the top three sources of funding for many counties. This revenue helps fund vital programs and infrastructure projects and saves California households an additional $890 in taxes each year to maintain state and local services. That’s enough money to resurface 17,000 miles of two-lane roads or employ 107,000 police officers.

It takes more than having the perfect destination to attract visitor dollars. For more than 25 years, Visit California’s marketing programs have delivered billions of dollars of new visitor spending and helped establish California as the number one travel destination in the U.S. Over the next five years, Visit California will be building on this success by investing $500 million in global marketing campaigns to ensure that the state remains a top consideration when travelers around the world are planning a trip.

Read more on economic impact and the benefits of travel and tourism to California’s economy.

 Hotel del Coronado — Photo credit courtesy of Visit California in Partnership with AFAR