According to Visit California’s recently released 2022 Economic Impact Report, California's tourism industry is on the cusp of achieving an accelerated recovery as visitors from around the world return to rediscover the Golden State. Projections now show visitor spending in 2023 will exceed the levels of 2019.
Visitor spending hit $134.4 billion in California in 2022 – 93% of the way back to pre-pandemic levels – navigating the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and global inflation.
Jobs in the state’s tourism industry also nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, according to the report. The travel sector added 157,000 jobs in California in 2022, bringing the statewide total to 1.1 million jobs supported by tourism. Visitor-generated tax revenue to support essential services in California communities increased by 21.6% to $11.9 billion.
This indicates that the jagged tourism recovery seen a year ago across California is leveling out. Tourism spending in 20 of the state’s 58 counties recovered enough in 2022 to exceed pre-pandemic levels.
The economic impact report release coincides with California Tourism Month this May. It was designated by the state Legislature in 2016 to amplify the tourism industry’s economic and lifestyle benefits to all Californians. Visit California emphasizes how Californians can continue to boost tourism’s recovery by supporting local and regional hospitality and leisure businesses or discovering new destinations in the Golden State.
Check out the full EIR report and find details by county using the interactive map of data available on the Visit California website here.