Visit California is a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs — in partnership with the state's travel industry — that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. California is the No. 1 travel destination in the country. In 2012, travel and tourism expenditures generated $106.2 billion in revenue for California businesses, a 4.5 percent increase from 2011. The money spent by travelers directly supported jobs for 917,000 Californians and generated $6.6 billion in state and local tax revenues. Tourism is California’s fourth-largest employer and fifth-largest contributor to the gross state product.
About Visit California
Visit California is a not-for-profit, 501(C)(6) corporation formed in 1998 to work jointly with the State of California’s Division of Tourism to implement the annual Marketing Plan, which promotes California as a travel destination. While these two partners (Visit California and Division of Tourism) are separate legal entities, they are commonly referred to jointly as California Tourism.
From 1998 to 2003, California Tourism consisted of the originally conceived private-public joint marketing venture partnership of Visit California and the State of California. The sole source of California's tourism marketing budget is now directly derived from assessed businesses in the travel and tourism industry.
Visit California operates under the auspices of the Business, Transportation and Housing (BT&H) Agency. The BT&H Secretary serves as Chair of the organization.
The 37-member Visit California commission comprises individuals from all 12 regions of California. Members represent five principal industry sectors: Accommodations, Restaurants and Retail, Attractions and Recreation, Transportation and Travel Services, and the Passenger Car Rental Industry. Twenty-four of the commissioners are elected by the approximately 5,000 assessed California businesses; 12 are appointed by the governor; and the 37th is the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency Secretary. The Board meets three times a year to direct Visit California’s programs and activities. A 34-member statewide Marketing Advisory Committee also provides input in developing the marketing plan.