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Let’s Bring the World to

California’s tourism economy continued to grow in 2022.

Visitor Spending
State & Local Tax Revenues
*Statistics reflect the 2022 calendar year. Source: Dean Runyan Associates, Inc.
California Welcome Center Ukiah Cookies
Three New Welcome Centers Invite, Inspire and Educate California Visitors and Businesses

By Taylor Smith

Two brand new California Welcome Centers have just opened across the Golden State in Ukiah and Modesto, along with the re-opening of the center in Santa Rosa. On June 1, the summer’s first California Welcome Center celebration re-introduced the California Welcome Center, Santa Rosa. The grand re-opening launched with an open house event at the center that brought together 60 industry partners. This CWC will allow Visit Santa Rosa and the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber to serve travelers heading into California’s highly-regarded wine country. Image Credit: Santa Rosa Metro Chamber Ukiah’s first ever California Welcome Center kicked off its grand opening with a festive open house event on July 11. The event celebrated the rich native history rooted in the land of Ukiah with Native American blessings delivered by Buffie Schmidt, who keeps the culture alive by teaching the Northern Pomo language at Ukiah High.  Run by the Greater Ukiah Businesses and Tourism Alliance, the California Welcome Center, Ukiah sits right off the 101 to serve as an accessible gateway to the Redwoods. As the only CWC in the North Coast region, there’s no better place for folks coming, going, or passing through the North Coast region to stop. Opened on July 19, the California Welcome Center, Modesto is the first in its area. Run by Visit Modesto, the center will serve travelers heading in or out of Yosemite. Sitting just off the 99, it is the Central Valley region’s only CWC. Modesto’s open house celebration was graced by Mayor Sue Zwahlen. California Welcome Center, Modesto representatives used the ceremony to remind attendees that not only is Modesto a great hub to pass through, it is just as exciting to travel to their charming destination, marketing that they are one of the only cities of their size to have a symphony, a ballet and an opera! The VCA team and partners hold these mixer-style open houses as a great way for businesses to learn more about Visit California and what their local CWC offers, as they are a valuable resource for regional tourism businesses.
Post Ranch Inn
Indian Journalists Indulge in the Golden State on Luxury FAM Trip

By Xavier Roque

Last month, Visit California hosted yet another round of journalists for a luxury familiarization tour of California. This time hailing all the way from India, the group explored a top-tier showcase of experiences in San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbara and West Hollywood, where they discovered luxurious lodging, Michelin and fine dining, and various destination adventures. Media participants included journalists from Travel + Leisure India & South Asia, the Indian edition of the American Luxury travel and lifestyle magazine, and LuxuryLaunches, one of the premium luxury news websites based out of Mumbai, as well as freelance travel and food writer Rupali Dean, who was named as the 'Best Food Writer in the Country' by the Indian Culinary Forum, Western India Culinary Association, and the Ministry of Tourism.  The tour started when the group touched down at the San Francisco International Airport. They checked into the St. Regis San Francisco hotel and enjoyed a sunset sail on the San Francisco Bay with Adventure Cat Sailing Charters, which they followed up with drinks and dinner at the Abaca Filipino Restaurant at Kimpton Alton Hotel. Over the following days, they toured the Presidio, Golden Gate Park, California Academy of Sciences, Minnesota Street Project, dined at many highly regarded restaurants – including the Michelin-starred Spruce – accommodating all dietary restrictions of attendees. After driving down to Monterey, they toured Big Sur’s luxurious Post Ranch Inn, explored scenic overlooks at Vista Point, Hurricane Point Rocky and Creek Bridge, and toured the Chef’s Garden upon dining at Lucia at Bernardus Lodge & Spa. The group then headed to Santa Barbara, where they checked into El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel in the Santa Barbara foothills. They enjoyed wine tasting at Margerum Wine Co., a Calafia private charter sailboat tour with Santa Barbara Sailing Center, and a dinner at The Lark. Finally, they made it to West Hollywood. After checking into the WeHo Hotel at The Sunset Tower Hotel, the group indulged in an afternoon spa experience and a dinner at Hamburger Mary’s. They rose early the next morning to take a guided private hike to Hollywood Hills to visit the iconic Hollywood Sign. Following the hike with brunch at The Butcher’s Daughter, the group had concluded their ultimate California tour. Visit California staff received incredible support from all DMO partners and met with key PR contacts in all destinations. 

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