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Economic Benefit of Tourism in California Grows for Ninth Year
Economic Benefit of Tourism in California Grows for Ninth Year

By Dan Smith
Posted 16 days ago

The economic impact of travel and tourism in California grew for the ninth consecutive year in 2018, according to a report Visit California released May 6.

 President and CEO Caroline Beteta shared the news that spending on tourism reached $140.6 billion last year, up 5.4% from 2017.

 Other key findings from the Dean Runyan Associates report include: 

  • Employment in tourism-related jobs rose 1.7% to 1.16 million. Travel generated employment has increased by an average of 3.5 percent each year since 2010.
  • State and local tax revenue generated by tourism rose to $11.8 billion, a 7.3% hike. Visitors paid 70% of the taxes, while the rest came from tourism employees and businesses.
  • The tax revenue from tourism saved each California household $890 a year in taxes.
  • Tourism remained California’s biggest export, as international visitors spent $28.3 billion in 2018.
  • Visitor arrivals on domestic flights increased by 7.3% to 41.9 million. 

Economic Benefit of Tourism in California Grows for Ninth Year

“Tourism continues to play an indispensable role in the California economy,” Beteta said. “In local communities, the tourism industry lifts up businesses and supports job opportunities vital to regional success.”  

California continues to experience year-to-year increases, spurring growth in industries touched by tourism, such as retail, food service, entertainment and the arts. This growth creates a ripple effect, supporting local economies across the state. 

The release of the economic impact report coincides with California Travel and Tourism Month, which occurs every May following a resolution enacted by the Legislature in 2016. California also celebrates National Travel and Tourism Week May 5-12, when destinations in the Golden State will join communities across the nation to host events that highlight and celebrate the importance of sustaining the travel industry. 

DMO partners received county-level data from the report and will be sharing that with media, local officials and their industry partners. 

Visit California also has provided social media guidance and other tools to assist the industry spread the California Tourism Month message.


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