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Economic Impact by State, Region & Country Back TO RESEARCH AND TRENDS

Recovery Research Dashboard - May 2022

Visit California and third party data sets

Monthly Report (pdf)
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(Date of Publication: June 8, 2022)

Summary compilation of statistics from a variety of Visit California and third-party data sets. The data are updated monthly and provide insight on the status of recovery across key indicators. A monthly highlights section provides an analyses of the state of travel recovery for California.


Public Health Indicators

  • California’s COVID case numbers continued to increase in the state but at a slower pace relative to the prior month. Many “hotspots” in California are in regions that avoided serious outbreaks during previous waves, including the San Francisco Bay Area where indoor mask mandates have returned in some counties.
  • Deaths remain stable, suggesting the current wave of cases is not as severe as previous waves.
  • In California, 84% of the state’s population age five and older have received at least one vaccination dose (vs. 83% U.S.).

Consumer Indicators

  • While sentiment around travel remains highly positive, there was a slight pullback on several measures in May.
  • A quarter of California travelers believe the coronavirus situation will “get worse” in the next month, up slightly from the prior month.
  • A consistent 84% of Californians and 83% of U.S. travelers indicated they are in the “ready to travel” mindset.
  • But enthusiasm for travel has moderated. “Excitement” metrics around travel and learning about new destinations both declined slightly in May.
  • In terms of resident sentiment, a pandemic high 89% of Californians believe tourism is important for the economy.

International Indicators

  • The May 2022 international forecast has been downgraded slightly and shows that 53% of international spending in California will be recovered in 2022, with full recovery to pre-pandemic spending in 2025.
  • COVID case rates remain high in Australia, and China’s outbreak continues to escalate. However, case rates are now declining in most European markets.
  • Based on April consumer sentiment testing, likelihood to visit California is above prepandemic levels in Canada, Germany, Mexico, and U.K. Australians’ likelihood dipped back to baseline levels.
  • Airlift and non-resident arrival numbers continued to show recovery in April, with European markets showing the most improvement among overseas markets. Arrivals at California ports of entry from the U.K. were down 27% from April 2019. Future air bookings from four out of five of Visit California’s priority markets show triple-digit year-over-year growth for flights in the next six months.

Lodging/Airline Indicators

  • Weekly hotel occupancy for the state peaked at 73% during the third week of the month, down 6% from 2019. Gateway regions continued to see room demand recover close to pre-pandemic levels in the month of May.
  • ADR continues to be a strong point for the state’s lodging sector, averaging 9%-12% above 2019 ADRs for the comparable weeks. ADR peaked in May at $192.
  • Air passenger traffic in May averaged 15 million travelers per week, down 10% from 2019 air passenger traffic.
Economic Indicators
  • Economic indicators lag by a month.
  • Travel spending in California for April was $13 billion, down a mere 2% from April 2019 (compared to +3% for the U.S.). This represents record high visitor spending during the pandemic.
  • Other economic indicators for the month remain strong. The unemployment rate for California improved to 4.6% vs. 3.6% for the U.S. with job gains in Leisure & Hospitality.
  • Inflation and fuel prices continue to be a challenge for the economy. The Monthly Consumer Price Index for April showed 7.9% inflation across all categories (an improvement over March). California gas prices averaged $5.87 for May.

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