More than 235 million people traveled in California in 2013, reinforcing the tourism industry as one of the state’s economic success stories, contributing significantly to both the national and state economy. Travel-related spending in California expanded for the fourth straight year since the recession, surpassing $100 billion for the first time in history in 2011 and reached $109.6 billion in 2013, a 3.2% increase from 2012 spending. Tourism
- Encourage increased travel to California by fostering investment in advertising and improvements to tourism infrastructure, considering the important role of tourism in the state’s economy and plans for economic recovery.
- Supported legislation signed into law that will create construction jobs building travel infrastructure (SB 1192 of 2010).
- Backed a tourism industry effort that won approval of legislation in 2006 providing a significant boost to funding to market California as a travel destination (AB 2592), helping the fourth largest employers in the state compete with other states and nations in attracting travelers and the resulting revenues and jobs.
California annually generates billions of dollars in direct travel spending into the economy. That spending directly supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state. In support of the state and national economy, the California Chamber of Commerce promotes policies that increase and protect travel and tourism within and to the state to continue to stimulate the economy and provide jobs to Californians.
The CalChamber also:
- Supports policies that ensure the importance of the tourism industry to California’s economy is understood by legislators, board, members and general public.
- Advocates for legislation that supports the state’s position as a tourism leader and opposes legislation that harms the state’s ability to compete on a level playing field.
- Supports continued funding for the California Tourism Marketing Act (Visit California) through voluntary self-assessment and continues to work with Visit California to ensure the enhanced promotion of California’s travel and tourism industry in order to remain competitive in the tourism market.
- Opposes new entertainment tax proposals and travel-related services taxes that threaten tourism in the state.
- Supports tax policy that encourages travel to the state for business and pleasure.
- Supports the expansion of the Visa Waiver Program. This program, which includes enhanced security information sharing between the U.S. and visa waiver countries, is critical to increasing foreign travel to the United States.
- Recognizes the importance of a balance between security and commerce, and is committed to ensuring that the need for homeland security does not have an adverse impact on international travel to California. The CalChamber will advocate its position to the federal government as appropriate.