California’s tourism industry = prosperity in Ventura

Ventura, Calif. – Tourism was instrumental to Ventura’s success in 2017, with visitor spending reaching $1.453 billion in Ventura County, according to the Dean Runyan Associates report released this week by Visit California. The tourism industry supported 16,520 jobs and generated $50.4 million in local tax revenue last year.

Statewide, visitors spent a record $132.4 billion, and the tourism industry provided more than 1.1 million jobs for Californians. State and local tax revenue generated by tourism reached $10.9 billion, providing communities like ours with the resources to thrive.

“Tourism brings economic prosperity to every region in California,” said Caroline Beteta, Visit California president and CEO. “The money visitors spend creates hundreds of thousands of jobs for Californians and generates billions of dollars of tax revenue to fund vital local services.”

Last year was the eighth consecutive year of tourism growth, a testament to the success of the industry’s innovative strategies designed to maintain California’s market share of visitors. In 2017, 6 out of every 10 dollars of visitor spending were attributable to out-of-state residents. Tax revenues generated by that visitor spending are a vital source of income for Ventura County, funding local services such as police, firefighters, roadways, libraries and more.

“In partnership with Visit California and their satellite offices around the world, Ventura is honored to participate in industry events and familiarity trips that showcase Ventura as a world-class destination,” said Marlyss Auster, Visit Ventura president and CEO.

Many Ventura institutions could not thrive without tourism so bringing visitors is simultaneously about procuring the benefits of tourism for residents and sharing the Ventura story. “It’s a fine balance between maintaining Ventura’s charm and letting Ventura shine in the spotlight,” said Auster. “For Visit Ventura, it’s not only about growth. It’s about the quality of tourism we foster.”

The connections Ventura has built were especially evident during the Thomas Fire when Visit Ventura received messages from people in countries all around the world expressing solidarity with a destination they’ve come to love. Their support continues to be vital for Ventura’s recovery.

To share this and other ways tourism makes a difference in Ventura, Visit Ventura planned an open house on May 10, 2018, during National Travel and Tourism Week. The open house included performances by the Aerial Studio and keynotes from Ryan Becker, vice president of communications for Visit California. Partners generously sponsored food, drinks, and prizes for over 100 community members. Visit Ventura expressed sincere gratefulness for the community support which allows them to pursue kooky ideas and celebrated the past year’s successes.

As international competition continues to grow, Visit California’s statewide marketing efforts allow us to expand our reach and keep pace with other destinations. Last year, the industry invested in 13 international markets to attract visitors from around the world, who typically spend more and stay longer than their domestic counterparts. Once visitors decide to travel to California, our local tourism marketing efforts motivate them to visit our region’s unique attractions and destinations.

According to Beteta, “Without tourism, every California household would need to pay an additional $820 in taxes each year to keep the state-funded at its current levels. Given how much tourism contributes to our economy, it is in our shared best interest to keep California a top global destination.”

To access the full “California Travel Impacts by County, 1992-2016, 2017 Preliminary State & Regional Estimates” report, visit www.industry.visitcalifornia.com/research.
About Visit California
Visit California is a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop marketing programs – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – that inspire travel to California. Travelers spent $132.4 billion in 2017 in California, providing more than 1.1 million California jobs and $10.9 billion in state and local tax revenue. For more information about Visit California and for a free California Official State Visitor’s Guide, go to www.visitcalifornia.com. For story ideas, media information, downloadable images, video and more, go to media.visitcalifornia.com.

About Visit Ventura
Visit Ventura is a non-profit organization designed to increase visitor expenditures, tourism revenues, and local employment opportunities through the promotion of Ventura as a travel destination. For travel and accommodation information or a free copy of the Ventura Inspiration Guide, the public can write to the Ventura Visitors Center, 101 S. California Street, Ventura, CA 93001; call (805) 648-2075; visit www.visitventuraca.com; email info@visitventuraca.com. Follow VVCB on Twitter @visitventura or become a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/visitventura.
Ari Larson (Fillmore Chamber), Josh Carsman (Fillmore and Western Railway) and I (Rancho Camulos Museum) participated in the recent City of Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau’s Open House to network with fellow tourism providers and share information about tourism opportunities throughout the Heritage Valley. The Heritage Valley Tourism Bureau partners with them and the Central Coat Tourism Bureau as well as Visit California.


Fiorella Calderoni
Communications Manager
(805) 648-2075