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  • CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AFFECTS CONCORD’S TOURISM INDUSTRY FOLLOWING STRONG 2019

    May 05, 2020
    2020 California Tourism Month

    Embargoed for release:8 a.m. May 5, 2020  
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    CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AFFECTS CONCORD’S TOURISM INDUSTRY FOLLOWING STRONG 2019
    New economic impact report highlights the importance of tourism to Concord

    Concord, Calif. (May 5, 2020) –The coronavirus pandemic has greatly impacted Concord’s tourism industry, which, according to Visit California’s latest economic impact report, was thriving in 2019.

    The “Concord, CA Travel Impacts” report, prepared for Visit Concord by Dean Runyan Associates, shows visitor spending reached $ 184 million, generated $ 13.1 million in state and local tax revenue, and supported 2,070 jobs in Concord in 2019. Continued growth highlights how important tourism is to the region and California’s economy.

    “Like every place else, Concord’s tourism has taken a big hit this year and we are not out of the woods yet,” said Elaine Schroth, CEO and President of Visit Concord. “The pandemic has affected virtually all of our hospitality and tourism related businesses including hotels, restaurants, transportation, shopping, entertainment and attractions, not to mention jobs. But we do know is that the situation is temporary, and we will rebound. Tourism is among the most resilient of all economic sectors and people will start traveling again when the time is right. Now more than ever, destination marketing is essential to Concord’s long-term economic health and we must continue to look and act forward, as always.”

    Concord, the largest city in Contra Costa County, is one of 14 cities in the County that saw an all-time travel growth year in 2019 of $ 2.004 billion in direct travel spending and a tourism workforce of 18,270 workers countywide. Visitor spending generated $ 177.9 million in local tax revenue last year, providing a stream of revenue in Contra Costa County to fund the community’s way of life including support of essential programs, such as public safety, infrastructure and parks.

    In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Tourism Economics projects California will lose $72.1 billion in statewide travel-related spending in 2020, nearly half of what was generated last year. The study also showed the pandemic will wipe out 613,000 California jobs by the end of May, more than half the tourism industry’s workforce.

    Statewide, 2019 marked a record 10 years of travel-related economic growth for the state, further signaling the steady influence tourism has had on California’s economy for the past decade.

    Visitors to California spent $144.9 billion in 2019, a 3.2 percent increase over 2018. The number of travel and tourism jobs increased to 1.2 million last year, an additional 13,000 jobs. Travel-generated tax revenue also grew for the 10th straight year, providing $12.2 billion to state and local governments, a 3.4 percent increase over 2018.

    “The data show just how vital tourism is to the California economy and why it must be restored when we control and ultimately overcome this deadly outbreak,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, the state’s tourism marketing non-profit organization. “When that time arrives, we’ll be calling on Californians to become the main drivers of recovery by traveling in the state, shopping locally and visiting local restaurants, wineries and attractions. California has led the nation in its response to the health crisis, and it will lead the economic comeback.” 

    To ensure the tourism industry rebounds in Concord, CA, Visit Concord is working with Visit California on initiatives to inspire community support and begin safe and responsible travel when the time is right. Learn more about Concord’s Why Tourism Matters campaign.

    The release of the 2019 California Travel Impact Report coincides with California Tourism Month, which occurs every May following a resolution enacted by the Legislature in 2016. This week, California also joins U.S. Travel in honoring the Spirit of Travel for National Travel and Tourism Week. The spirit of travel isn’t only found in far-off places. When residents embrace the spirit of travel by supporting local businesses and helping neighbors, they also play a key role in rebuilding their community, their state – and America.

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    ABOUT VISIT CONCORD: Visit Concord is the brand identity of the Concord Tourism Improvement District (TID) Agency located in San Francisco’s East Bay to promote and marketing the assets and amenities of ConcordCA. Established on June 1, 2013, the 501(c)6 agency is funded by the 3 percent collection of an assessment paid by guests on all room bookings from participating hotels in Concord. Learn more about Concord and receive a free Destination Guide on local inspiration and how to plan your next trip HERE.

    ABOUT VISIT CALIFORNIA: Visit California is a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. 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.