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Economic Impact of Travel in California 2014-2023

Authored by Dean Runyan Associates, Inc.

Impact Report (PDF)
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(Date Of Publication: April 30, 2024)

California travel impacts in total and by region and county from 2014 to 2023.

These economic impacts are based on "statewide visitor trips," which are defined as trips taken by individuals who stay overnight away from home or travel more than 50 miles one way on a non-routine trip. This definition of a visitor is derived from the California Tourism Marketing Act. Some destinations in California calculate visitation and economic impacts using different definitions of visitors and different data-gathering methods, so figures may not match.


  • In 2023, travel spending grew to $150.4 billion, a 5.6% increase from the prior year. Since the peak of 2019, travel spending has grown by 3.8%.
  • The travel industry supported approximately 1.2 million jobs in 2023, a 5.9% increase from the prior year. As of 2023, California’s travel industry has restored 98% of the jobs compared to 2019.
  • Travel-generated state and local tax revenue increased to $12.7 billion in 2023, an increase of 3.7% from the prior year. Compared to 2019, travel-generated tax revenue has grown by 3.0%.
  • Visitors who stayed in a hotel or motel spent $63.3 billion in 2023, an increase of 5.4% from 2022. Visitors who stayed in a short-term vacation rental (STVR) spent $12.7 billion in 2023, an increase of 1.5% compared to 2022.

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California’s travel and tourism industry is represented by accommodations, transportation and rental cars, restaurants, retail stores, attractions, gasoline service stations, and other businesses that serve travelers. Traveler spending benefits tourism providers across all industry segments and across all of California's regions.


Travel-related spending in 2023 supported 1.2 million jobs statewide. Direct travel-generated employment refers to the total number of full and part-time jobs directly attributable to travel spending. A significant share of many industries’ earnings comes from travel-related spending. Part of these earnings are used to pay employees in the form of income and benefits. Based on average salaries for employees in the various travel-related industries in California, a total employment number attributable to travel can be reached.

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