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California Travel-Related Spend & Visitation Forecast

Authored by Tourism Economics

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(Date of Publication: January 16, 2020)

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

Note: This forecast was updated on January 16, 2020 and doesn't include expected impact of Coronavirus. The most up-to-date information is available on the coronavirus resource page.

MAJOR TAKEAWAYS

Economic growth slowed around the world, limiting the potential for international travel to the US in 2019. Last year saw a softer pace in arrivals from both domestic and overseas markets, alongside a notable decline from Mexico. Spending and visitation in European markets remained flat. A strong job market encouraging consumer spending in the US will continue to support travel demand domestically.


Tourism Economics

Total visitor travel spending reached $145.1 billion in 2019, an increase of 3.2% over 2018 visitor spending. Total spending for California is forecast to grow 3.9 percent 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 grow 1.8% to 291 million visitors in 2020.


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Tourism Economics

International visitors to California spent more than $28.1 billion in 2019, a -0.6% decrease from 2018. Visitors from Mexico (including land and air) spent $4.2 billion in California, making Mexico California's top international market in terms of spending, followed by the China ($4.02 billion) and Canada ($3.2 billion)

Note: The data shown above does not include expected impacts from Coronavirus.

Tourism Economics

In 2019 California welcomed more than 17.9 million international visitors, a -1.2% decrease from 2018. California's top international market in terms of visitation was Mexico with 7.7 million total visitors (including land and air). Markets with next highest levels of visitation were Canada (1.7 million visitors) and China (1.5 million visitors). 

Note: The data shown above does not include expected impacts from Coronavirus.


Total Domestic Annual Spending & Visitation

Tourism Economics

On the domestic front, while economic momentum will slow, job growth and wage growth remain solid and consumer sentiment remains upbeat, providing a foundation for solid growth in the leisure segment. Domestic visitor travel spending in California reached $116.9 billion in 2019, a 4.1% increase from 2018. 

 

Tourism Economics

Visitation to California grew 1.8% in 2019, welcoming more than 268.1 million visitors. 

 


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