Travelers to California spent a record $122.5 billion in 2015, according to the annual economic report from Visit California, the Sacramento-based nonprofit group that helps develop the state’s tourism marketing programs.
The 2015 total was up more than 3 percent from 2014 and marked the sixth consecutive year of fiscal growth.
The report also said the state’s travel industry supported more than 1 million jobs and generated $9.9 billion in state and local tax revenue in 2015.
Visit California said 51 of California’s 58 counties saw year-over-year increases in travel spending in 2015, with Sacramento County taking in $3.63 billion, up more than 5 percent from $3.45 billion in 2014.
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The report said San Francisco took in $14.29 billion in traveler spending last year, up almost 3 percent from $13.91 billion the previous year. Los Angeles led all California counties by a wide margin, taking in $25.88 billion in 2015, up 2.6 percent from $25.23 billion in 2014.
An analysis of data compiled by Dodge Market Research found that, from 2006 to 2015, new building and renovation projects in California related to tourism totaled $20 billion.
“The ripple effect from a sixth consecutive record year of tourism is driving economic development and community benefits across the state,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California.
Visit California develops various marketing programs in partnership with California’s travel industry. It’s the largest client of Sacramento’s MeringCarson advertising agency, which developed the long-standing, tongue-in-cheek television spots showing famous Californians delivering double-meaning lines at well-known, picturesque Golden State locales.