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California Travel-Related Spend & Visitation Forecast

Authored by Tourism Economics

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(Date of Publication: August 13, 2020)

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


  • Tourism spending in California is expected to drop to $75.4 billion in 2020, about half of the 2019 total, erasing a decade of growth.
  • Travel-related spending in California is not expected to reach pre-coronavirus levels until 2024.
  • California lost over 600,000 travel and tourism jobs in May alone, more than half the tourism workforce compared to 2019.

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Source: Tourism Economics

Total visitor travel spending reached $144.9 billion in 2019, an increase of 3.2% over 2018 visitor spending. Total spending for California is forecast to drop to $75.4 billion in 2020.

Tourism Economics

Total visitation to California reached 286 million in 2019. This represents a 1.6% growth from 2018. California total visitation is expected to decrease by 36% to 183 million visitors in 2020.