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California Tourism

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California tourism is promoted by the state’s 19 California Welcome and Tourist Information Centers, as well as individual California conventions and visitors bureaus. This California cities list may also be useful for determining the convention and visitors bureaus you wish to contact.

In 2011, the California travel and tourism industry generated $2.3 billion in local taxes and $4 billion in state taxes on total direct travel spending of $97.6 billion. California hosted approximately 6.2 million overseas visitors in 2011, who spent approximately $12.6 billion in the state. The top five overseas visitor market countries in 2011 were the United Kingdom (702,000 visitors), Australia (563,000), Japan (561,000), China PRC (517,000) and France (443,000). In addition to overseas visitors, there were 6.4 million Mexican visitors and 1.5 million Canadian visitors to the state in 2011. (Statistics source: California Travel and Tourism Commission.)

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In 2018, California received the third-highest number of overseas travelers of all the United States. New York ranked first, and Florida was the second-most visited state according to statistics published by the national Travel and Tourism Office.

California Tourism – San Francisco Cable Car

California was the destination of approximately 223 million total domestic and international travelers in 2011. California tourism is one of the state’s largest employers (providing employment for around 873,000 residents in 2011) and among the top gross state product export-oriented industries.

Californians themselves are the mainstay of the state’s travel and tourism industry, comprising 76 percent of domestic travel and accounting for roughly 159 million person-trips. Out-of-state visitors account for about 49 million person-trips to and through the state, and California’s top domestic markets in 2011 were Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Oregon, Washington and New York. California garnered a 11.21% share of total U.S. domestic-leisure travel market in 2011, and 22.2% of all overseas travel to America.

Dining, shopping and entertainment are the most popular expenditure-based activities among California travelers. Sightseeing, followed by visiting theme/amusement parks and beach/waterfront activities, are the most popular recreational pursuits.

Photo of San Francisco Cable Car by David Paul Ohmer via flickr (Creative Commons).

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California Wineries

California Tourist Attractions

California Golf

Things To Do In California

Misc. Travel Resources

Note: Information in this article was accurate
when it was published, but hours, prices, etc.
change constantly. Please confirm details
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