Visit Concord Is Rallying for California Tourism Month

California Tourism Month is officially underway amid the beginning of a tourism comeback, and Visit California spread the word broadly this week via an in-person press conference at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. 

With the majestic San Francisco skyline in the background, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and Joe D’Alessandro, San Francisco Travel president and CEO and Visit California commissioner, helped deliver the key messages: 

California is open: Visit California’s industry team reports enthusiasm over Memorial Day bookings and the return of group business. “It’s time. You can safely get out in public again,” the lieutenant governor told the media. “I think we all need a little weekend getaway.” 

The outlook for the future is challenging, but promising: Visit California released new projections from Tourism Economics that show domestic visitor spending in California will reach 76% of 2019 levels this year and hit 94% next year. Overall visitor spending won’t be back to 2019 levels until 2024. While we have a long road to full recovery, the projections reflect some improvement and offer hope that the comeback can be accelerated.

BJs Salad
Concord's Tourism Month Toolkit
Visit Concord Power of Travel Article
Visit Concord Travel Impact Report 2020
Visit California Toolkit

California has competitive challenges: A far greater percentage of Americans perceive Florida as open for business than they do California, and many states are padding their marketing budget. New York City approved a $30 million increase, and Florida bumped marketing spending to $75 million. 

Our workforce needs help: With hundreds of thousands of people in the travel and hospitality industry out of work at the same time our businesses face difficulty hiring enough team members to operate normally, the tourism workforce needs to rebuild. Visit California released a video that put a human face on the loss. You can watch it here: TravelMattersCA.com/Travel-Hub/Resilient-Tourism-Workforce 

California’s gateways need leisure travel: Conventions and other business travel will return slowly, and international travel will trail even more “making leisure travelers now more important than ever to bring our cities back to life,” D’Alessandro said. 

Californians need to support their state: Just between June 2020 and February, the industry lost $12 billion in tourism spending because of Californians traveling elsewhere. More than $1 billion was lost to Mexico alone. As a modern-day act of patriotism, Californians can support their fellow Californians and hasten recovery by vacationing here.

And we’re asking everyone to spread the word on social media. Amplify your pro- tourism message throughout the month with #CATourism, and from May 2-8 join in U.S. Travel’s National Tourism Week with an additional #PowerOfTravel tag.