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More than 25 years of progress, partnership and the unwavering pursuit of Visit California's biggest dreams have passed to reach this moment in time. Conceived, funded and led by the tourism industry, Visit California has proved we are stronger when united. 

Read on to explore successes from the year — and download an executive summary for a deep dive into Visit California's global marketing efforts in FY18/19.

Fiscal Responsibility, Expert Investment
Visit California strives to ensure the industry's investment is executed for the purpose it was given: to do what the industry cannot do itself. More than 88% of Visit California's budget goes directly to marketing efforts, while operations account for about 12% of expenses.


Fiscal Responsibility
Visit California spends far less on overhead than the national average for state tourism boards – nearly half as much.

FY18/19 Tourism Industry Investment
The investment of each industry segment is leveraged by the collective contribution of all other segments to benefit the entire tourism industry.

Tourism industry investment by segment
Visit California is funded by more than 21,000 assessed business locations that power the organization's global marketing efforts.


Economic Impacts
Travel Matters
In 2018, tourism recorded a ninth straight year of growth, setting records in travel spending, jobs and tax revenue.

in visitor spending
state and local tax revenue
record high hotel occupancy

Source: Dean Runyan Associates, Inc. 2018 and Smith Travel Research 2018



Visitor spending by industry segment
Traveler spending in California reached $140.6 billion in 2018, an increase of 5.4% over 2017.

Big Sur


Crisis Response
Inspiring Recovery with #CALove
California saw an unprecedented fire season in 2018, but together with industry partners, Visit California took active steps to assess the needs of affected destinations. Once ready, an "open for business" message was relayed to travelers around the world to support recovery efforts.

media placements
social engagements
donated media

The Power of Love PSA
Building on the outpouring of support, Visit California worked quickly to create the “Share Your California Love” campaign led by “The Power of Love,” celebrity-driven 60- and 30-second public service announcements asking viewers to donate to the Red Cross, volunteer in rebuilding efforts and visit to help affected areas get back on their feet.

CA Love

Golden State Goes Global

Visit California's marketing campaigns are crafted to share the "Dream Big" ethos of the Golden State, inspiring a wide array of target audiences with varied interests.

Global Brand
New Brand Spots Show Off California
Visit California is always driving desire for the Golden State through exciting marketing spots that show off everything California has to offer. A new global spot, "Spoiled," aired in six countries. For the first time, six-second adaptions were created for online and mobile audiences.

households reached

Program Measurement
Influence of Paid Marketing
Visit California evaluates the effectiveness of its paid advertising by calculating the incremental spend from ad-aware visitors. Measuring incremental travel produces a conservative measure of advertising impact. This is spending and tax revenue that would not have happened without Visit California’s paid advertising campaigns.

incremental visitor spending
incremental tax revenue

Source: Strategic Marketing and Research Insights LLC (SMARI)



Parents Love It
Kids and Kids-at-Heart Love ‘Kidifornia’

Through a new TV spot, "Parents Love It," consumer activations, media events and influencer partnerships Visit California continued to emphasize California as the destination for family travel.

households reached
earned media value

United Kingdom Luxury Mission
Super Affluent
Targeting High-Spending Visitors

Trade shows, including Visit California's own Connections California Luxury Forum, original content series, new international outreach to the Middle East and powerful trade partnerships showed off the Golden State's unique style of laid-back luxury.

social media impressions
earned media value
Michelin chef
Serving Up California

Crafted to encourage discovery of California’s adventurous and immersive culinary experiences, Visit California launched the new Tasteblazers platform. Covering popular video series, state-wide initiatives and the new Michelin guide of California, this platform establishes the Golden State as the destination for culinary connoisseurs.

earned media value



Foundational Marketing
An 'Always On' Approach


Advertising reached consumers through broadcast, online TV and digital channels featuring new TV spots.

• $47.4 million investment 
• 8.6 billion impressions 
• 203.8 million households reached (broadcast)




Global media efforts complemented consumer marketing campaigns such as Dream Drive and Gold Rush Rally while partnerships with key media and influencers kept California top of mind for international audiences.

• $241.6M earned media value 
771 media and influencers hosted
7,000 placements
9.2B impressions



Original content and unique series introduced travelers to California while the new California Road Trip Republic and Tasteblazers platforms launched highlighting the open road possibilities and food exploration to be had.

78 new original Dream365TV content pieces
3.9M social engagements
26.6M unique visitors to Visit California global websites
1.6M California Welcome Center visitors



Travel trade co-ops and partnerships introduced the trade audience to the excitement California has to offer, while first-of-their-kind initiatives such as IPW's return to California and a CEO mission to the Middle East laid the foundation for successful partnerships in the new fiscal year.

53 co-ops
179.5M impressions
243 trade trade hosted
31,000 agent trainings
5,500 meetings



International Marketing

Welcoming the World
Visit California inspires travelers to experience the Golden State through dynamic and engaging marketing programs in 13 international markets in addition to the U.S. International visitors stay longer and spend more per person than domestic equivalents.


international trips
average weekly seats
international visitor spending

World map

Source: Strategic Marketing and Research Insights LLC (SMARI)



Download PDF

Download the executive summary of It's Working! Year in Review FY18/19 by clicking the link below.


Request Printed Copy

Email the Visit California team using the link below and someone will get back to you shortly.