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As the world’s travel industry gathered in Los Angeles for IPW, California Gov Gavin Newsom announced that California visitor spending soared to an unprecedented $150.4 billion in 2023, surpassing the pre-pandemic 2019 record.

Australia’s visitors spend is forecasted to recover to 103% (spending $1.3 billion) in 2024 and 123% in 2025 relative to 2019.

News of travel spending’s recovery comes as Visit California launched The Ultimate Playground, its first brand new platform in more than a decade. Grounded in research from the National Institute for Play that traveling is a proven benefit to one’s physical and mental well-being, the new brand asserts that California’s playful lifestyle, paired with its abundance of experiences, create the ultimate playground.

“California tourism is back where it belongs – setting records and once again proving its ability to recover from any challenge, whether it be economic or environmental. California continues to be the largest, most diverse, and most resilient tourism economy in the United States,” said Caroline Beteta President and CEO, Visit California

To keep the momentum going, this week California was the host state for IPW, the largest international travel trade show on U.S. soil. Visit California and 43 partners pulled out all the stops with the California Plaza activation outside the Los Angeles Convention Center. It was an experiential display of the state’s abundant offerings that put The Ultimate Playground front and centre for the more than 5,000 trade show attendees.

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