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

Recovery Research Dashboard - January 2022

Visit California and third party data sets

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Monthly Report (pdf)
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(Date of Publication: January 28, 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.


MAJOR TAKEAWAYS

Public Health Indicators

  • The number of new COVID-19 cases recorded in California exploded in January with weekly cases more than double the peak case numbers from last year’s winter wave. There is some indication that case rates are starting to decline for both California and the U.S as of late January. 
  • Despite high case rates, new deaths from COVID have remained stable with pre-Omicron levels; hospitalizations due to COVID have been manageable for most of the state.
  • First-dose vaccinations have reached 82% of the state’s population age 5 and older. This compares to 80% for the U.S. overall.

Consumer Indicators

  • While the recent wave of COVID cases caused some consumers to be more pessimistic about the health situation and delay/cancel short term travel plans, overall they remain optimistic about travel in the long term.
  • More California consumers believe the coronavirus situation will “get better” in the next month (40%) vs. “worse” (35%). Consistent with pre-Omicron measurements, 79% of California travelers are in the “ready to travel” mindset.
  • Consumers are still “excited” to travel (69%) and to learn about new destinations (67%).
  • Safety concerns for travel activities ticked up slightly due to Omicron but have not reached previous outbreak peaks.

International Indicators

  • With the Omicron variant taking hold globally in December, COVID-19 case numbers spiked in Europe and Australia in January and will likely continue to be elevated for the coming weeks.
  • Twelve out of 14 markets have more than 70% of their population vaccinated with at least one dose.
  • With the reopening of the U.S. border in November, airlift and non-resident arrival numbers saw significant increases. As an example, arrivals from the U.K. increased from 2,158 in October to 22,465 in December. Japan was the only market that did not see an improved year-over-year trend on arrivals to California from October to December (-93% in respective months.)
  • Visit California proprietary international tracking will be updated in the February report.

Lodging/Airline Indicators

  • While 2021 ended on a strong note with the state’s occupancy rate 2% above the comparable week in 2019, January has seen a noticeable retreat with occupancy down 24 to 27% from 2019 levels for weeks ending Jan. 16 and Jan. 23.
  • The week ending Jan. 16 prior to the MLK holiday saw a particularly steep drop in in ADR (-26%) and RevPar (-46%.)
  • The trend was similar for air passenger travel with 13-14 million passengers traveling each week at the end of December down 15 to 18% from 2019. In January, passenger traffic declined to 10 million passengers with the most recent week down 25% from 2019 levels.
Economic Indicators
  • Visitor spending in California reported by Tourism Economics was $11.8 billion in December, down 5% from 2019, marking the strongest recovery since the start of the pandemic. Florida and Texas continued to out-perform California in terms of recovery of visitor spending.
  • California’s unemployment rate improved to 6.5% (vs. 3.9% for the U.S.) The Leisure & Hospitality sector continued to gain jobs but absolute job number remain well below pre-pandemic levels.


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