Tourism Continues to Boost California Economy in 2004

New California Travel Statistics Show Upswing

2005 Numbers Are Forecasted to Increase

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 24 /PRNewswire/ — The California travel industry continues to reap the benefits of a rebounding economy as figures for 2004 reflect an upsurge in direct travel spending. Total spending in California from visitors was $82.5 billion in 2004, an increase of 7.4 percent from 2003 and the largest gain since 2000.

“California is one of the world’s premier destinations,” California Travel and Tourism Commission Executive Director Caroline Beteta said. “These numbers attest to the success of the travel industry and its significant impacts on California.”

The CTTC, with D.K. Shifflet Associates, Ltd., is projecting an upswing in 2005 visitor numbers, with travel to and through California during Spring and Summer forecasted to increase 2.9 and 3.5 percent respectively.

The 2004 report, compiled by Dean Runyan Associates, illustrates the economic impact of travel in California. Air travel played a pivotal role in the increase. There were 31.6 million domestic air passenger visitor arrivals to California last year, up 17 percent from 2003. International visitor spending comprised more than 15 percent of all travel spending.

On the work front, travel spending directly supported 892,600 jobs (up 2.5 percent from 2003), earning businesses and employees $26.5 billion. Jobs positively affected by travel are: food service (261,500 jobs); arts, entertainment and recreation (220,500 jobs); and accommodations (192,200 jobs). It is also estimated that a travel-related job was generated for every $92,400 in direct travel spending. Nearly $13 billion was spent on accommodations, comprising 17 percent of all destination spending by visitors.

Local governments generated $1.9 billion in taxes from travel spending while the state saw $3.3 billion in revenues. For every $100 of travel spending in 2004, $32.13 was generated in earnings, $2.33 in local taxes and $3.97 in state taxes.

The full report, California Travel Impacts by County, 1992-2003; 2004 Preliminary State Estimates is available online at

The California Travel and Tourism Commission is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs — in partnership with the state’s travel industry — that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination.

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