National Travel and Tourism Week made waves in California May 1–7 as Visit California and the state’s travel and tourism industry joined hundreds of industry leaders nationwide to champion tourism’s contributions to the economy as a revenue generator and job provider.
“2015 was the sixth consecutive year of growth for the tourism industry,” said Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta. “Tourism has the ability to drive economic development and revitalization that empowers local communities and makes California a better place to both live and work.”
The California Travel Impacts Report found that California’s visitor spending rose to $122.5 billion in 2015, a 3.4 percent increase. Tourism industry jobs 1,064,000, contributing 36,000 jobs to the state’s economy. Tourism also generated $9.9 billion in local and state revenue, the equivalent of putting $750 in the pocket of each California household’s pocket.
Visit California released the report results May 2, holding a virtual press conference with 20 journalists who called in to discuss the news. To help the industry generate NTTW coverage, Visit California created a dedicated webpage with resources, including a link to the report, research on travel impacts by region and county, a press release template, talking points and toolkit resources developed by U.S. Travel.
The industry’s efforts saw results, making headlines across the state in high-profile publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Business Journal, Bay Area News Group, LA News Group, Napa Valley Register and the Orange County Register.
“Travel Matters to California” was a common theme echoed at more than a dozen NTTW events across the state. Visit California staff spoke at NTTW events and rallies from Costa Mesa to Catalina Island to Vallejo to Tuolumne.
California’s celebration of travel and tourism is expected to continue throughout May.
On May 9, the California State Assembly and California State Senate will vote on ACR 166, an Assembly Concurrent Resolution proclaiming May 2016 as California Travel and Tourism Month. The resolution will celebrate the growth of the state’s tourism industry and its value as an engine that powers California’s economy and improves the quality of life for all Californians.
Governor Jerry Brown also expressed support for the state’s travel and tourism industry for promoting the state’s natural landscapes, attractions and educational opportunities. He recognized travel and tourism as an engine for the state’s economic growth and well-being.
“During the month of May, I encourage Californians to join me in celebrating the strength of our tourism industry in growing California’s economy and improving the state’s quality of life,” he said in a commemorative message.