CA tourism spending reached $150.4 Billion all-time high – still world’s 5th largest economy

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Photo credit: Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

CALIFORNIA — Governor Gavin Newsom announced new data, released on May 5, showing that California continues to have the largest market share of tourism in the nation. Travel spending in the state reached an all-time record high of $150.4 billion last year. 

The governor’s office says the news comes after the state retained its title as the world’s 5th largest economy and had a population increase of 67,000 people since 2023. They say both are directly tied to California’s nation-leading tourism and entertainment industries.

CA tourism created 64,900 new jobs

Newsom said from California’s world-renowned coastline, to the world’s tallest trees, to iconic cities and theme parks, the state is the nation’s coming attraction.

“Visitors from all over the world are coming here to experience the wonder of the Golden State, boosting our economy and creating good-paying jobs for years to come,” said Newsom.

According to the state, travel spending in California surpassed the record $144.9 billion spent in 2019. The new travel-spending record generated $12.7 billion in state and local tax revenue by visitors in 2023, marking a 3% increase over 2019. 

Tourism created 64,900 new jobs in 2023, bringing total industry employment to 1,155,000.

World’s 5th largest economy

In 2023, four national economies were larger than California,  — the U.S. at $27 trillion, China at $17.7 trillion, Germany at $4.4 trillion, and Japan at $4.2 trillion. California’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2023 was $3.8 trillion and had a growth rate of 6.1% since the year prior.

Photo credit: Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

The governor’s office says in addition to visiting the state, more people are moving to California. Earlier this month, Newsom announced the state’s population is increasing for the first time since the pandemic.

“The Golden State, which has the most equitable tax system in the entire country, is #1 in the nation for new business starts, #1 for access to venture capital funding, and the #1 state for tourism spending, manufacturing, high-tech, and agriculture,” said the news release.

RELATED: CA invests in companies that will create jobs with average salaries over $100,000

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