Travel-related spending in California expanded for the fifth straight year since the recession, surpassing $100 billion for the first time in history in 2007, and exceeded $117 billion in 2014, providing $9.3 billion in tax revenue. More than 250 million people traveled in California in 2014, reinforcing the tourism industry as one of the state’s economic success stories, contributing significantly to both the national and state economy.
The multibillion-dollar travel industry in California is a vital part of the state and local economies. The industry is represented primarily by retail and service firms, including lodging establishments, restaurants, retail stores, gasoline service stations, and other types of businesses that sell their products and services to travelers. The money that visitors spend on various goods and services while in California produces business receipts at these firms, which in turn employ California residents and pay their wages and salaries.
Encourage increased travel to California by fostering investment in advertising and improvements to tourism infrastructure, considering the important role of tourism in the state’s economy and plans for economic recovery.
Supported legislation signed into law that will create construction jobs building travel infrastructure (SB 1192 of 2010).
Backed a tourism industry effort that won approval of legislation in 2006 providing a significant boost to funding to market California as a travel destination (AB 2592), helping the fourth largest employers in the state compete with other states and nations in attracting travelers and the resulting revenues and jobs.
California annually generates billions of dollars in direct travel spending into the economy and directly supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state. In support of the state and national economy, the California Chamber of Commerce promotes policies that increase and protect travel and tourism within and to the state to continue to stimulate the economy and provide jobs to Californians.
The CalChamber also will continue to:
- Support policies to ensure that the importance of the tourism industry to California’s economy is
understood by our legislators and regulators.
- Advocate legislation that supports the state’s position as a tourism leader and oppose legislation that harms our ability to compete on a level playing field.
- Support continued funding for the tourism marketing act (Visit California) through voluntary self-assessment and continue to work with Visit California to ensure the enhanced promotion of California’s travel and tourism industry in order to remain competitive in the tourism market.
- Oppose new entertainment tax proposals and travel-related services taxes that threaten tourism in our state.
- Support tax policy that encourages travel to the state for business and pleasure.
- Recognize the importance of a balance between security and commerce, and remain committed to ensuring that the need for homeland security does not have an adverse impact on international travel to California. The CalChamber will advocate its position to the federal government as appropriate.
- Support expansion of the visa waiver program. This program, which includes enhanced security information sharing between the United States and visa waiver countries, is critical to increasing foreign travel to the United States
- Domestic Travel Market Report: 2014 Edition, U.S. Travel Association, July 2015
- Dreams in Progress: Visit California’s FY14/15 Year In Review, Visit California, July 2015
Education, Unemployment Insurance, Regulatory Reform, Tourism, Immigration