California’s multibillion-dollar travel industry is a vital part of the economy at the state and local levels. More than 263 million people traveled in California in 2015, reinforcing the tourism industry as one of the state’s economic success stories, contributing significantly to both the national and state economy. 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.
- Support policies to ensure that the importance of the tourism industry to California’s economy is understood by legislators and regulators.
- Advocate for legislation that supports California’s position as a tourism leader and oppose legislation that harms the state’s ability to compete on a level playing field.
- Support continued funding for Visit California through voluntary self-assessment (AB 2592 – 2006) 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 the state.
- Support tax policy that encourages travel to the state for business and pleasure.
- Recognizing the importance of a balance between security and commerce, the CalChamber will support policies of homeland security that do not adversely impact international travel to the state. The CalChamber will advocate its position to the federal government as appropriate.
- Support expansion of the federal 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.
2017 Business Issues and Legislative Guide
Agriculture and Resources
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
Expanding Opportunity — An Agenda for All Californians
Health Care Reform
Housing and Land Use
Labor and Employment
- 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
Unemployment Insurance, Immigration, Occupational Safety, Tourism