Fast Facts

California’s travel and tourism industry is an engine for economic growth

  • Tourism generated a projected $126.3 billion in spending in California in 2016
     
  • Travel spending in California directly supported 1,096,000 jobs with $45.4 billion in job earnings.  
     
  • Travel spending generated $10.3 billion in state and local tax revenue in 2016.
     

California visitors fuel the success of many other leading California industries

  • Visitors to California spent approximately $30.3B on food and beverages in 2016. 
     
  • In 2015, travel was responsible for $17.2B in retail sales and 90,000 jobs in the retail sector. 
     
  • Visitors to the Golden State spent $25B on accommodations in 2016.
     

The tourism economy is critical to all corners of the state
 
  • Travel related spending is a key economic element of every part of California. Rural counties are especially reliant on travel and tourism dollars because they often lack the major institutions and industries that create jobs, economic growth and tax revenue in urban and suburban areas. Click here for a breakdown of the benefits the industry provides in every California region and county.
     

International travelers inject more than $25.2 billion a year into the state’s economy

  • A projected 17.3M international travelers visited California in 2016.  
     
  • Total spending by international visitors reached an estimated $25.2B in 2016, up 3.3% over 2015.
     
  • China is California’s largest overseas market, third in total volume behind only Mexico and Canada. The number of tourists from China exceeded 1.3M in 2016 and is expected to surpass 2.2M by 2021. Chinese visitors spent nearly $3.1B in the state in 2016.
     

California is the U.S. tourism market leader

  • California had the largest market share of domestic travel among all 50 states with a mark of 11% in 2016.
     
  • There were a projected 268.4M person-trips to and through California in 2016, 219.1M or 81.6% were for leisure purposes.
     

 

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MeringCarson Time Inc