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California Travel-Related Spend & Visitation Forecast

Tourism Economics

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(Date of Publication: September 25, 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 $66.1 billion in 2020, less than half of the 2019 total, erasing a decade of growth.
  • Travel-related spending from Domestic visitors is expected to recover to 74% of 2019 levels in 2021, while International spending will only recover to 54%.
  • Overall, Leisure spending could recover to 85% of 2019 levels in 2021, while spending from Business-related travel will only recover to 56%.
  • Travel-related spending in California is not expected to reach pre-coronavirus levels until 2024.

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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 $66.1 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 42% to 161 million visitors in 2020.