More than 235 million people – visitors and residents alike – traveled within California in 2013, spending an all-time record of $109.6 billion, according to a new report released by Visit California, the nonprofit that helps develop the state’s travel and tourism marketing programs.
Visit California said last year’s travel-related spending generated $2.8 billion in local tax revenues and $4.3 billion in state tax revenues. The report, compiled by Portland, Ore.-based Dean Runyan Associates and commissioned by Visit California, also noted that the state’s travel industry last year employed 965,800 people, the highest number since 1992, when employment data started being tallied.
“California tourism is on the rise, and that means new potential for creating jobs and increasing economic impact throughout the state,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, in a statement. The report also breaks out tax revenue to individual counties. In 2012, Santa Clara County totaled $287.7 million in travel-related tax revenue. While pleased with last year’s overall $110 billion in travel-related spending, Beteta said future growth “will depend on California remaining a top-of-mind travel destination,” especially globally. In April, Visit California said it launched broadcast advertising for the first time in Mexico and China. Overall, it spends $50 million annually to market California to prospective travelers.