China continues to pump up tourism in California
China continues to contribute to the growth of California’s travel industry, which has expanded for the sixth consecutive year following the 20072009 recession, according to an industry report.
Last year, travelers in California spent $122.5 billion, and tourism spending contributed $9.9 billion in state and local tax revenue and generated more than 1 million jobs in the state, according to an annual economic impact report released on Monday by Visit California, a nonprofit organization that promotes California on behalf of the state’s tourism industry.
The report says that direct visitor spending represents a 3.4 percent increase over 2014 in current dollars and a 4.9 percent increase in real dollars. The inflation-adjusted
increase was greater because of the decline in motor fuel prices.
The GDP of the California travel industry was $62.3 billion in 2015, about 2.5 percent of the state’s total, says the report.
Of total visitor spending, 24.4 percent is attributable to international visitors, and China is the fastest growing tourism market to California.
California receives around 1 million visitors a year from China who spend $2.6 billion, according to Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. She said China is expected to soon overtake Canada as the largest international market, which is “something” considering that Canada is so close to the United States.
Beteta said the state has seen an 899 percent growth in Chinese visitors in the last 10 years and from 2014 to 2018 they expect growth at 65 to 70 percent overall.
“Because it is so important, we are actually investing almost $10 million a year in that market, and we just finished opening two more offices in China,” she said.
Visit California added offices in Chengdu and Guangzhou this year.