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Tourism Accelerated California's Economic Prosperity in 2017

New report demonstrates communities across the state continue to benefit from tourism industry jobs and tax revenue

Sacramento, Calif. (May 7, 2018) – California’s robust tourism economy expanded in 2017, fueling more than $132 million in travel spending, $10.9 billion in tax revenue, and 1.1 million jobs in communities across the Golden State. The numbers released today in an economic impact report [BS1] by Visit California and Dean Runyan Associates showcase the industry’s role as a mainstay of the sixth-largest economy in the world.

The report’s findings show tourism spending jumped 4.8 percent in 2017, signaling the industry’s eighth consecutive year of growth. The new job opportunities and additional income from tourism spending are of great value to local communities, particularly those in rural regions.

“Tourism is at the foundation of California’s economy and a consistent revenue generator for local communities whose prosperity depends on the industry’s ongoing success,” said Visit California President & CEO Caroline Beteta. “We cannot afford to lose out on the benefits our tourism economy delivers for all Californians.”

The report’s findings reveal the vital role tourism plays in sustaining the state’s future success. Without tourism, each California household would have to pay an additional $820 in taxes each year to maintain the level of government services they currently receive. Revenue generated by tourism funds the programs and services Californians benefit from every day – such as public safety, parks, trails, roads and infrastructure – and allows local and state government to invest in innovative solutions to face complex challenges.

To ensure California continues to receive a healthy share of tourism dollars, Visit California unites the state’s tourism industry into a powerful, collective force that inspires travelers from around the world to visit the Golden State. Through successful global marketing campaigns, the industry reaches targeted domestic and international audiences in 14 markets including China, Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom. These cutting-edge marketing strategies ensure California continues to attract visitors whose spending injects critical revenue into our state’s economy and supports valuable jobs.

“Last year’s growth is a testament to the strength of the California brand at home and abroad, and the strong dividends that tourism marketing delivers back to California’s economy,” said Beteta. “With competition for visitors increasing, we’re committed to elevating the California brand by sending the message to international visitors that all dreams are welcome here.”

The release of this report is part of California Travel and Tourism Month, which occurs every May following a resolution enacted by the Legislature in 2016. This week, California celebrates National Travel and Tourism Week, when destinations in the Golden State will join communities across the nation to host events that highlight and celebrate the importance of sustaining the travel industry.


Visit California is a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – that inspire travel to California. Travelers spent $132 billion in 2017 in California, directly supporting more than 1.1 million California jobs and $10.6 billion in state and local tax revenue. For story ideas, media information, downloadable images, video and more, go to