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New State Budget Invests $15 Million to Help Fully Restore California’s Tourism Economy

New state tourism marketing funding will accelerate the travel industry’s recovery to pre-pandemic levels

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (June 30, 2022) – The new state budget agreed upon by Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers will include $15 million in marketing funds to support the ongoing recovery of California’s tourism economy.

These funds will be used to supplement Visit California’s proven tourism efforts by providing direct support for domestic tourism marketing programs aimed at driving increased travel to destinations and communities throughout California.


The new funding builds on the state’s previous investment of $95 million in tourism marketing stimulus in 2021, which has been critical to reviving the state’s hard-hit tourism sector and accelerating the travel industry’s path to recovery.


Visitor spending in California grew 46% last year compared to 2020, totaling $100.2 billion, according to Visit California’s 2021 Economic Impact Report. Updated economic projections now forecast that travel spending will reach 2019 levels by 2023 – a year earlier than previous estimates.


“California’s travel and hospitality industry is grateful to Gov. Newsom and the Legislature for including $15 million in the state budget to continue the tourism economy’s recovery from the devastating pandemic,” said Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta. “The state funding will supplement the travel industry’s contribution and allow Visit California to continue marketing programs across the nation to inspire travel to the Golden State. The $95 million allocated by the Legislature a year ago helped California reclaim its nation-leading tourism market share and reestablish itself as one of the state’s most reliable job producers. This $15 million contribution will help finish the job and bring California’s tourism economy back to pre-pandemic levels in 2023.”


This stimulus will provide additional resources that will help Visit California close the gap in the state’s uneven tourism recovery by supporting marketing programs aimed at promoting family travel, professional meetings and travel to California’s urban hubs, which continue to be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.


Initial projections estimate that the state’s $15 million investment in tourism marketing stimulus will generate at least $4 billion in visitor spending at California businesses and create 37,600 travel and hospitality jobs.



Visit California is a nonprofit 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. For more information about Visit California and for a free California Official State Visitor’s Guide, go to VisitCalifornia.com. For story ideas, media information, downloadable images, video and more, go to media.visitcalifornia.com.

Angie Pappas
Director of Public Relations