California’s tourism industry is off to a booming start in 2016,

Mar 30, 2016

Tourism industry highlights growth, environmental commitment

California’s tourism industry is off to a booming start in 2016, continuing to benefit all Californians through economic growth and sustainable leadership. From San Francisco’s Union Square to the high Sierra, millions of visitors are Dreaming Big in the Golden State. Here’s a look at Visit California’s recent activities to support California’s thriving tourism industry:  

Outlook Forum showcases economic trends and growthVisit California’s 2016 Outlook Forum gathered California’s top tourism leaders in San Francisco to celebrate the industry’s successes and set program goals to continue growing this crucial pillar of California’s economy. The event included the announcement of another record-setting year for California tourism, with visitor spending reaching $121.2 billion in 2015. See a highlight video of the event here, as well as coverage from China Daily USA and The Tahoe Daily Tribune.  

Tourism is a partner in sustainability   Last month, Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta announced the preliminary results of a study by Mandala Research showing 68 percent of travelers are actively searching for sustainable practices. Other findings concluded the majority of travelers to California are environmentally conscious and consistently choose the state because of the sustainable practices demonstrated at its destinations.   The report was released at the Hotel Council of San Francisco’s Stay Green Forum. Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom was the event’s keynote speaker and thanked the tourism industry for its leadership in combatting climate change.  

Legislature celebrates tourism, national park service centennial Lawmakers, policymakers, business and environmental leaders and others joined Visit California March 2 to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service and reflect on the power of the state’s natural wonders to attract visitors. Senator Fran Pavley and Assemblymember Marc Levine joined Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta in a panel to discuss the importance of protecting California’s parks for future generations of visitors and residents. The event concluded with a screening of the IMAX film “National Parks Adventure,” which showcases landscapes from some of California’s most iconic parks.  

Comstock’s Magazine highlights importance of rural tourism   Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta was interviewed for a Comstock’s Magazine feature story on tourism’s impact on the rural economies in the Sacramento region. “Throughout all of California, tourism is a huge factor,” she said. “It’s such a critical component, and sometimes it’s overlooked because travel and tourism is so omnipresent that it is almost invisible.”   Read the full story or see this infographic with the breakdown of tourism dollars in the Capital region.  

What’s next   Visit California is gearing up for National Travel and Tourism Week from May 1 to May 7. The organization's annual economic impact report will be released, detailing the 2015 economic benefits of the tourism industry in counties and regions across California.

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