Economy

As California’s economy reopens, tourism can lead the way – Orange County Register

Read more at www.ocregister.com

On June 15, California’s tourism economy will emerge full throttle from a setback 11 times worse than the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Make no mistake, the Golden State’s tourism industry is roaring back, poised to reclaim tourism market share lost to other states and reestablish itself as a reliable economic driver and job producer.

All Californians have a stake in its rapid recovery, and all Californians can help accelerate it.

California’s travel and hospitality industry must rebound quickly to restore hundreds of thousands of jobs and lead the restoration of the Golden State economy.

That’s why I was a principal co-author of Sen. Mike McGuire’s effort to provide stimulus funds to Visit California’s tourism marketing program. Supplementing the millions the tourism industry spends on marketing California worked after 9/11, particularly as other states spend to steal our market share.

Visit California’s latest forecast compiled in partnership with Tourism Economics shows a pandemic recovery that could take as long as four more years.

Californians can support a speedier economic recovery timeline with a modern-day act of patriotism. They can take their vacations in their home state this summer and fall to support fellow Californians and the small businesses that employ them.

I know they can do it because they’ve done it before. Californians have stepped up throughout this pandemic – sacrificing for public health amid economic hardship for many. The result? For more than a month, California has had the lowest Covid-19 case rate in the nation. It is in the top 15 best-performing states over the entire pandemic.

When it became clear last fall that California’s tourism industry was losing ground to other states, I convened the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media to get the facts. Visitor spending and taxes generated were down by half after a record 2019 brought $145 billion in visitor spending. That’s about three times the size of the state’s agriculture economy and more than Apple’s global annual iPhone sales.

Theme parks and meeting venues were stranded without state health guidance to even plan for reopening. The area around the 65th Assembly District I represent in Orange County — home to iconic theme parks and a vibrant convention and meeting business – was shattered. Hotel tax collections in Anaheim were down nearly 90 percent from the last full pre-pandemic year.

Over 100,000 Orange County residents, including 15,000 of my constituents, lost their jobs in leisure and hospitality in 2020. The travel and hospitality workforce was by far the hardest hit employment sector across the state: 600,000 lost their jobs a month after lockdown.

As California has begun to rebound, jobs are returning. The leisure and hospitality sector is leading the way, but hundreds of thousands still remain unable to get back on the job for a variety of reasons.

Read more at www.ocregister.com

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button