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Respect the Golden State: Visit California Launches Responsible Travel Code [updated]

By Caroline Beteta 09/21/2020

Just weeks before the coronavirus pandemic made landfall in the United States, Visit California published a draft Destination Stewardship and Sustainable Travel Plan, a key step to establish California as a leader in sustainable tourism.

The framework outlined collaboration between residents, visitors and the tourism industry to preserve and protect California while sustaining a record 10 consecutive years of tourism growth – something we also celebrated.

[9/21 update] View the new Responsible Travel Code video:



Now the tourism landscape has vastly changed, but the need to preserve California has not. Visit California will continue to inspire safe and responsible tourism as counties across the state begin to reopen for leisure travel.

This means asking our visitors – including California residents – to respect our communities, our environment, and the fellow travelers and locals they meet along the way.

Visit California’s Responsible Travel Code will live on the new VisitCalifornia.com website as part of a Responsible Travel Hub. The hub will serve as a resource for travelers, demonstrating ways they can do their part to travel safely and responsibly, while also sharing what businesses and communities across the state are doing to ensure the safety of their guests.


The hub will:

  • Address traveler concerns and provide clear, fact-based information to help them decide when and how to plan a trip to the Golden State.
  • Emphasize links to partner and government resources that have the most current, detailed, and localized information.
  • Introduce tips and strategies for those ready to travel, emphasizing safety and respect for fellow travelers as well as insights and recommendations
  • Provide details on what travelers need to know about visiting California beaches, hotels, wineries, breweries, shops, restaurants and parks and trails, in addition to information about taking California road trips.

Look for the new website to launch later this month. In the meantime, please find the California Responsible Travel Code below:


Travel California. Respect California.
California Responsible Travel Code

California is a place of wide-open spaces that champions open-mindedness and celebrates diversity. Californians respect our friends and neighbors and their health and safety. We respect the environment, local culture and all the different kinds of people who visit our state. Respect is the key to keeping each other safe and all of California’s precious and fragile beauty protected, today and tomorrow.

Feel free to traipse, travel and follow your joy in California. Please follow this California Responsible Travel Code while doing so.


Roam Responsibly.  I will explore California thoughtfully and responsibly, maintaining the utmost respect for everyone and everything I encounter.

Educate Myself.  I will do my research before traveling across the state, familiarizing myself with local regulations and community concerns, which may have changed over time. This is especially important in rural communities with limited healthcare resources.

Safety First. I will follow public health directives from government officials, including physical distancing measures. I will take all necessary steps to minimize health risks to myself and others and stay home if I’m sick.

Preserve California.  I will protect and nurture the Golden State’s pristine outdoor spaces and cultural icons, by maintaining a light footprint at every turn and paying special attention to delicate ecosystems.

Embrace Community.  I will support local businesses and do my part to ensure the long-term prosperity of the places I visit.

Celebrate Culture.  I will immerse myself in California’s diverse local cultures and embrace the traditions and practices I encounter.

Teach Others. I will lead by example and share these practices with fellow travelers, acknowledging that we all share the responsibility to protect California.

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