Q & A

Q. If California is such a great destination — why spend $100 million a year to market it to attract visitors? Won’t people just come to California on their own?

A. Competition for tourism dollars is intense because travel and tourism is a major economic engine. Travelers have many options these days.  

Q. You say the travel and tourism industry creates and supports a lot of jobs, but aren’t most of them unskilled and low-wage positions?

A. Travel and tourism creates jobs across a broad spectrum of skill sets, education levels and wages.  

Q. Doesn’t all this marketing mostly benefit wealthy hotel and restaurant chains, airlines and others who really could afford to do it on their own?

A. Tourism brought more than $126.3 billion in projected revenue to California businesses in 2016, generating $10.3 billion in state and local taxes.

Q. Wouldn’t all that marketing money be better spent on other important state priorities?

A. The return on investment from Visit California's efforts to attract travelers is critically important to regions across California. 

Q. Tourism is not really a product, so why do you call it an export industry?

A. The U.S. Department of Commerce classifies tourism as service export.  

Q. Why can’t the various travel industry members just do their own marketing instead of funding Visit California?

A. California is a big state with a tremendous variety of attractions and natural wonders to attract tourists.  

Q. Why do we have to attract even more international visitors to California?

A. There’s a strong return on investment. The 17.3 million plus international visitors who came here in 2016p injected more than $25.2 billion into the state’s economy. They stay longer and spend more than visitors from other states in the U.S.  

Q. Does the average Californian really benefit from the travel and tourism industry?

A. Absolutely. Travel and tourism serves as a catalyst for improving the well-being of all Californians by bringing great value to the economy and enhancing the state’s image. 

Q. Aren’t other major California industries more successful and important than the travel and tourism industry?

A. Travel and tourism is an economic engine that supports over 1 million jobs and pumps more than a projected $126.3 billion a year into California businesses. This spending generates $10.3 billion in state and local taxes to support vital local services like public safety, roads, schools and many others. 

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