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The California Office of Tourism is a department within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development that supports the promotion of California as a global tourism destination and provides information services to visitors. The Office of Tourism works in close coordination with the California Travel and Tourism Commission, doing business as Visit California, to facilitate travel to California.

Visit California is a nonprofit 501(c) corporation 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. Visit California operates a global marketing program in 14 markets on behalf of the tens of the thousands of California businesses who benefit from travel. The Office of Tourism collects the fees that fund Visit California’s campaigns and initiatives.

Official Business

What does the California Office of Tourism do?

The California Office of Tourism supports California programs that benefit the state’s travel and tourism industry.

Tourism Assessment Program

The California Tourism Marketing Act of 1995 enabled the state’s tourism industry to assess itself to conduct statewide marketing. In 1998, the industry voted to pass the first industrywide referendum, creating the Tourism Assessment Program and establishing the California Travel and Tourism Commission as the first-of-its-kind destination marketing organization in the nation.

California businesses participating in the program are identified as part of five travel and tourism industry categories: accommodations; attractions and recreation; restaurants and retail; transportation and travel services; and passenger rental cars. The Office of Tourism manages the Tourism Assessment Program and collects the funds that power Visit California’s global marketing efforts. For more information on Visit California, visit industry.visitcalifornia.com.

California Welcome Centers

The California Welcome Center Program comprises 17 strategically located official state welcome centers that serve as California’s concierges. Equipped with comprehensive informational materials and expert staff, each California Welcome Center (CWC) acts as a window into the world of the surrounding region and state.

Through personal interactions with travelers, CWCs gather travel statistics and feedback on traveler experiences, directly supporting local communities through travel recommendations and insights. For more information on California Welcome Centers, visit www.visitcwc.com.