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Economic Impact by State, Region & Country Back to Research & Trends

California Travel & Tourism Forecast (State) April 2019

Tourism Economics

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(Date of Publication: June 5, 2019)

Semiannual forecast of visitation and traveler spending in California with a five-year outlook for the state.


  • Visitors to California spent $140.6 billion in 2018, an increase of 5.4% over 2017 visitor spending.
  • Strong US economy fueled growth in domestic spending in 2018, which helped propel domestic spend growth above international spend growth.
  • A weaker US dollar should help strengthen international buying power in the coming years. On the domestic front, dissipating fiscal stimulus effects will weigh on domestic spending power.
  • Total spending for California is forecast to grow 4.3 percent in 2020.
  • Total visitation to California is forecast to grow 2.3 percent in 2019 following a 2.8 percent expansion in 2018.
  • International visits to California are expected to grow 3.2%, while domestic visits will grow 2.3%.
  • The business segment of the market grew more than 4%, outpacing the leisure segment growth in 2018. 
  • The slowdown in 2019 will be due to a softer pace in arrivals from domestic markets, and Mexico and Canada.
  • There are some signs of Germany recovery, and total overseas visits are expected to grow 3.5%.
  • China had a strong start to the year and is expected to be the best performing market over the forecast period followed by India.
Travel-Related Spending 2018
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Visitation Forecast
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2019 Total Visitation Growth Forecast
2019 Domestic Visitation Growth Forecast
2019 International Visitation Forecast
2020 Spending Growth Forecast