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California Ocean-Tourism and Travel Industry

The travel industry and associated recreation in California generates approximately $55.2 billion annually

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house home The world is now more urban than rural. The only way most people get to wiggle their toes in nature is through tourism! California fills that need for our own growing urban population and for visitors from around the world. Our oceans, mountains, deserts...and agricultual lands form a mighty pull for tourism -- and tourism is both personal and business-related! Tourism-related business is growing and can be a major player is a greener California.

Green hotels, sustainable food sourcing, greener transportation...they all can contribute to cleaner air, better use of water and natural resource protection.

The California Trade and Commerce Agency's Division of Tourism (CalTour) estimates that the travel industry and associated recreation in California generates approximately $55.2 billion annually (6.5% of the gross state product) and supports almost 700,000 jobs statewide, making California first in the nation for travel earnings, domestic visitors and overseas visitors.

Tourism is defined as leisure vacation travel requiring transit over 50 miles or an overnight stay.

Recreation is defined as leisure activities in which participants travel less than 50 miles and do not require an overnight stay.

Using these definitions, the California Research Bureau prepared an economic analysis of seven ocean-dependent industries, which determined that ocean and coastal tourism contributed $9.9 billion to the State's economy in 1992, making it the largest component of the seven ocean-dependent industries studied.

In 1994, CalTour estimated that 32 million resident trips and 7 million non-resident trips (not including international visitors) were made to visit California beach or waterfront areas by traveling more than 50 miles, with coastal cities being a strong attraction for out-of-state visitors.

California offer visitors a broad range of opportunities that vary from visits to resorts, bed and breakfast inns, hotels, and campgrounds to more adventurous activities such as coastal cruises, wind surfing, deep sea fishing, backpacking, and hang gliding.

California Department of Parks and Recreation concluded that (1991)...

70% of Californians had participated in beach activities an average of 21 days, surpassed in participants only by visiting museums/historic sites and recreational walking.

25% of Californians had participated in saltwater fishing an average of 15 days each.


The California Ocean and Coastal Environmental Access Network (Cal OCEAN) is a web-based virtual library for the discovery of and access to ocean and coastal data and information from a wide variety of sources and in a range of types and formats. The goal of Cal OCEAN is to provide the information and tools to support ocean and coastal resource management, planning, research and education via the Internet.

California Ocean and Coastal Environmental Access Network

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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