California’s new budget will include $95 million to restart tourism in the state, which has been reeling from the state’s worst financial crisis. The money will be used to advertise the state’s low taxes and low regulation, as well as to redesign the state’s logo, which the L.A. Times reported was confusing and poorly designed. The money will also be used to promote California to the millions of people who visit the Golden State each year, and to increase the state’s tourism infrastructure with new websites, advertising, and marketing.
Los Angeles has been suffering from a lack of visitors. The city has fallen from fourth in the nation in economic impact to the bottom of the barrel, and it has been hemorrhaging jobs. For the first time in half a century, Los Angeles is no longer the most populous city in the United States. But as the California economy recovers, the state is spending a record $95 million on a new tourism marketing campaign to bring in more than a million visitors this year.Governor Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers have agreed on a new California budget that includes a one-time $95 million investment to rebuild the state’s tourism economy.
This infusion of funds represents the largest incentive investment in the entire United States as California communities begin to welcome visitors in and out of the state once again.
The money will be used to directly support the state’s DMO, Visit California, when it returns to promote the destination, especially given the competition from many other states. Visit California plans to use the funds to expand its marketing programs in the state and extend its reach statewide with four new campaigns to attract local visitors to the Golden State.
The California DMO expects that about two-thirds of the grant will be used to renew existing advertising campaigns that would otherwise have ended due to lack of funding, including Calling All Californians, California Road Trip Republic and What If, California.
It is also requesting $20 million for campaigns to promote culinary tourism and family travel, particularly to winter sports destinations.
According to SMARInsights’ initial projections, California’s $95 million investment in tourism incentives will create more than 330,000 new jobs in the state and ultimately generate more than $35 billion in tourism revenue. The $4.5 million is earmarked for the renewal of business and group travel, which for urban destinations are key components of leisure travel.
Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, said: Over the past 15 years, the California tourism industry has invested more than $1 billion to promote the California brand worldwide. This year looked bad because the pandemic slowed visitor numbers and depleted available marketing funds, Beteta said. The stimulus package in the state budget will allow California to continue selling to the U.S. next year, allowing the industry to regain market share and once again become one of the state’s most reliable job producers. This is a real game changer.
Bringing visitors back to California and encouraging Californians to rediscover their state will be a much-needed lifeline for California’s small businesses, many of which are still recovering from the pandemic, said Gene Zanger, president of Visit California and a partner at Casa de Fruta. This funding will allow our state to accelerate the timetable for rebuilding California’s tourism industry and the communities in the state whose residents and businesses rely heavily on travel spending.
For more information, visit california.com.
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