Governor Newsom Proposes $95 Million for Travel and Hospitality Industry to Promote California as a Travel Destination
Tourism leaders applaud the investment to jump start the industry and put hundreds of thousands of Californians back to work
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Governor Newsom announced today he will propose a $95 million investment in his May Revise to fund an expansion of Visit California’s successful marketing campaigns. This funding is critical to the state’s travel and hospitality industry as the country reopens.
Before COVID-19 hit, the travel and hospitality industry was one of the largest economic drivers—and the largest export—for California, the nation’s No. 1 tourism destination. In 2019, visitors spent $145 billion at California businesses, supporting 1.2 million jobs.
“We thank Governor Newsom for understanding and championing the tourism industry,” said Emellia Zamani, director of government affairs for the California Travel Association. “The pandemic has impacted this business sector more than any other industry. Lost hospitality jobs have a ripple effect, with dozens of adjacent sectors relying on a thriving travel economy to stay in business.”
The Governor’s $95 million proposal will help California’s tourism economy recover from a crisis more than 10 times worse than the economic aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. This one-time investment in Visit California’s tourism marketing program is projected to deliver $35.8 billion in new visitor revenue for California businesses and restore more than 330,000 jobs.
Visit California, a nonprofit marketing organization with a mission to drive demand for California as a travel destination, is funded by private tourism businesses in the state. Most tourism businesses have lost money during the pandemic, and funding for Visit California’s marketing programs is expected to be exhausted this summer.
“This stimulus will extend the industry’s investment into Visit California’s marketing programs, which will get hospitality businesses reopened safely and employees back to work,” said Zamani. “We urge the Legislature to take the Governor’s lead and prioritize this allocation in their budget discussions.”
Without the help of this funding, Tourism Economics projects California’s travel and hospitality industry will not recover until 2024. This allocation is backed by more than 130 organizations, including the California Travel Association, the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, the California News Publishers Association, and the California Broadcasters Association.
This press release went out to the Capitol press corps following the Governor’s announcement this morning. Thank you for all your outreach regarding this issue and to our tourism champions Senator McGuire and Assembly member Quirk-Silva.
Our work continues and we will be in touch about follow-up actions in the weeks leading up the budget being finalized on June 15.