Visit California Coronavirus Update

May 06, 2020
Visit California Coronavirus Update

Dear Industry Partners,
Gov. Newsom provided encouraging words Monday about reopening some sectors of California’s economy.
It’s no surprise that Californians have made steady progress meeting the six benchmarks necessary to restart. By the end of the week, some retail operations will be able to open and deliver goods curbside. Dine-in restaurants could follow in the coming weeks in communities that meet the governor’s health readiness criteria.
Meanwhile, hotels and other segments of the nation’s tourism economy are laying out specific opening criteria and best practices, a huge step to influence the reopening timeline.
These developments again show the importance of staying engaged in the reopening process.
Tourism survey results
A few weeks ago, Visit California invited all of you to take a survey, to tell us how the coronavirus and resulting stay-at-home orders have affected business and what paths might lead us forward when the health crisis subsides.
Even to those of us living through the pandemic and the economic devastation it has wrought, the results were sobering.

  • Nearly three-fifths of the businesses responding were either fully or partially shut down.
  • 96 percent said the pandemic has had a significant negative impact on their bottom line.
  • March revenue dropped by more than 50 percent from March 2019 for two-thirds of businesses.
  • 43 percent had permanently laid off workers, while 85 percent had instituted some furloughs.
  • 80 percent said Visit California’s marketing program is important or very important to help their business recover.
  • And 77 percent said Visit California’s marketing is important because it supports the business’s very limited marketing budget. 

Visit California reductions
Visit California is not immune to the crisis gripping the tourism industry. Friday was an exceptionally difficult day at Visit California as we completed furloughs and layoffs that reduced our overall staff levels to less than half of what they were before the pandemic. This came after other significant reductions to our vendor contracts and the pausing of international offices, as well as voluntary salary reductions for the executive team. While painful, these reductions are necessary to ensure Visit California survives to help jump-start the recovery.
I look forward to the day – hopefully in the not too distant future – when all of us can reverse these reductions, invite our colleagues back to their roles and move forward inspiring travel to one of the greatest destinations in the world.
As always, thank you for your support and resilience during this time.

Dream Big!

Caroline Beteta
President & CEO
Visit California

Posted in COVID-19 Resource.