Business & Real Estate

Tourism spending in California tops $140 billion in 2018

Take a tour of the tiny town of Harmony off Highway 1

Harmony, a former dairying hub, is about 6 miles south of Cambria, parallel to and barely east of Highway 1. The 2.5-acre town was defined in a 1997 article in the Los Angeles Times as being “not much bigger than a typical strip mall," but it has
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Harmony, a former dairying hub, is about 6 miles south of Cambria, parallel to and barely east of Highway 1. The 2.5-acre town was defined in a 1997 article in the Los Angeles Times as being “not much bigger than a typical strip mall," but it has

Travelers and residents spent more than $140 billion dollars at restaurants, stores and other businesses last year – a 5 percent increase from the previous year, according to a new report from Visit California.

The marketing body commissioned the economic impact report authored by Dean Runyon Associates, Inc., which found increases in domestic travel, travel-related employment and state and local tax revenue.

Visitors on domestic flights increased by 7 percent and accounted for $42 million in revenue. The report also concluded that residents of other states and countries spent six out of every ten dollars at visitor destinations in California.

In 2018, the travel industry also accounted for more than 1 million jobs – nearly a 2 percent increase over 2017.

“Tourism continues to play an indispensable role in the California economy,” Caroline Beteta, Visit California president and chief executive, said in a prepared statement. “In local communities, the tourism industry lifts up businesses and supports job opportunities vital to regional success.”

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