By advocating directly to the state legislature, local and federal officials, business and the public, we address a host of concerns that affect our state’s tourism industry both directly and indirectly.
We keep our members informed about the bills that matter most to our industry, and take an official position on ones we strongly support or oppose.   

Why Tourism Matters

Importance of Travel and Tourism to the California Economy
  • Total direct travel spending in California has increased again in 2014, projected at $117 billion, a 3.4% increase from 2013 spending.
  • Travel spending in California directly supported 1,013,000 jobs, with earnings of $38 billion.
  • Travel spending in 2014 generated $4.3 billion in local taxes and $5.2 billion in state taxes.   
  • Travel spending generated the greatest number of jobs in accommodation and food services(523,000 jobs) and arts, entertainment and recreation (221,000 jobs).
  • 15.6 million International visitors traveled to California in 2013.  6.6 million were from overseas,7.4 million from Mexico, and 1.5 million from Canada.
  • California’s top overseas visitor markets in 2013 were: U.K. (652,000), Japan (536,000), Australia(553,000), China (819,000), Germany (421,000), S Korea (389,000) and India (240,000).


Travel and tourism serves as a catalyst for improving the well-being of all Californians by bringing great value to the economy and enhancing the state’s image.

  • The $12.5 billion in state, local, and federal tax revenues generated by direct travel spending in California in 2013 saved each household in the state over $900 in taxes.
  • Travel and tourism helps stimulate investment in new enterprises that benefit all parts of the state with new jobs and tax revenues for local services.
  • A large cross-section of industry sectors throughout the state benefit from travel and tourism,including accommodations, transportation, attractions, restaurants, retail and many others.
  • The industry helps to reduce unemployment levels around the state, since tourism unemployment is lower than other industries.
  • Tourism is resilient, weathering down economies better than most industries. This helps ensure a steady, reliable, much-needed tax revenue stream at both local and state levels.


Travel and tourism creates jobs across a broad spectrum of skill sets, education levels and wages.

  • A stable economy needs a balanced and layered work force that provides a range of employment opportunities.
  • Steady tourism-related job growth drives down California’s unemployment rate.
  • Travel and tourism provides more jobs than agriculture, transportation, information, or educational services.
  • Tourism needs people – not machines or technology – to thrive. That means tourism jobs cannot be outsourced to other states or countries.
  • Tourism employs more people than any other California export industry.
  • Tourism is the top employer in two of California’s eight rural regions – Deserts and High Sierra –and ranks among the top four such employers in six of the eight regions.
  • Visitor revenues support local economies and make it possible to preserve remote natural icons,cultural resources, and historical landmarks and districts.
CalTravel retains Political Solutions, LLC, as our lobbying firm to represent our interests in Sacramento.Our Government Relations Committee works closely with Political Solutions and the ExecutiveCommittee to take a position on bills that are important to across the industry.  
CalTravel provides advice, support, and contacts to our members in matters of tourism advocacy, andsupports members’ requests to take a position on bills important to them as long as the legislation isaligned with our state-wide membership’s interests.   
CalTravel regularly partners with other groups and associations, including the California Chamber ofCommerce, the California State Parks Foundation, the California Alliance for Hospitality Jobs, theCalifornia Attractions and Parks Association, California’s Retail and Restaurant Associations, theCalifornia Hotel and Lodging Association, the California Lodging Industry Association, the California SkiIndustry Association, the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, among others.