California’s Travel and Tourism Industry Sees Job Growth

Posted by Kassy Perry

More than 1,500 jobs added in August

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Despite reports that the California job market has screeched to a halt, jobs in travel and tourism continue to grow – providing billions of dollars and a million jobs to the state. During August, the leisure and hospitality industry gained 1,500 jobs while the state’s unemployment rate increased to 12.1 percent.

“California’s economy is ever changing and businesses across all sectors have been experiencing challenges,” said Caroline Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California. “The fact that the travel and tourism industry is holding strong despite a general economic downturn demonstrates that the state is a premier domestic and international destination. People come here seeking the California experience.”

In California, nonfarm jobs decreased by 8,400 during August, increasing the state’s unemployment rate from 12.0 percent in July to 12.1 percent. The leisure and hospitality category however, gained 1,500 jobs in the month. Only trade, transportation and utilities and manufacturing added more jobs (5,700 and 1,600 respectively).

This summer, the leisure and hospitality industry continued to play a significant role in California’s labor force and revenue.

  • During the summer months of June, July and August, the number of hotel rooms sold in California increased by five percent compared to the year before.
  • These figures come on top of a seven percent growth in hotel demand and a seven percent growth in total travel spending in the state during the 2010 calendar year.
  • Overseas travel has grown in 2011 – through June, point of entry arrivals into California grew 14 percent from 2010. Overseas visitors are especially important to the state’s economy because they typically stay longer – 11.3 nights – and spend more- $1,200 per trip- than do domestic visitors.

Visit California – California’s official tourism board – is a leading force in helping generate $95.1 billion annually in California in visitor expenditures, 18 percent of which is international. This visitation supports jobs for 873,000 Californians and generates $6.1 billion in state and local tax revenues, which improves local economies and infrastructure for residents and visitors to enjoy.

For more information about California’s travel and tourism economic value, please visit

About Visit California

Visit California is a non-profit 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. California is currently the number one travel destination in the country. In 2010, travel and tourism expenditures totaled $95.1 billion annually in California, supported jobs for 873,000 Californians and generated $6.1 billion in state and local tax revenues. For more information, please visit


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