Tourism Matters in Oxnard, California
As the past year has undoubtedly proven, Oxnard benefits from the spirit of travel, which permeates through small businesses, unique landmarks and all those who welcome residents and visitors alike with a smile and hospitality.
Our local agricultural businesses, the Channel Islands Harbor and other tourist sites like Heritage Square, Oxnard Performing Arts and Convention Center, and Henry T. Oxnard Historic District are the backbone of Oxnard. These places define our community, provide our families with jobs and have given us—and thousands of annual visitors—a lifetime of memories.
Travel matters, and it improves Oxnard in ways that have a wide-reaching impact on local residents. Travel supports thousands of travel-related jobs in Oxnard, and it also has an impact that we do not always see: travel can strengthen families, foster hometown pride, and build bridges that connect us with one another.
At the national level, travel is critical to the U.S. economy and American jobs. The COVID-19 pandemic brought economic disruption to almost all sectors of the US economy in 2020, but few industries were as hard hit as travel. Despite this, travel continues to be a leader in workforce development and career advancement, creating and supporting 6 million jobs across the U.S. despite layoffs. In 2020, travel spending generated $680 billion, a 42 percent decrease from the prior year. Tax revenue generated by travel resulted in $112 billion with $6.1 billion in revenue to the State of California and local governments, supporting a host of critical resources.
Travel is powerful for cities and states, and Oxnard is no exception. Just read our press release with Ventura County-specific economic impact numbers.
Prior to the pandemic, California was thriving from a record 10 years of travel-related economic growth, further signaling the steady influence tourism has had on the state’s economy. While the tourism industry was especially hard hit by travel restrictions, it is beginning to rebound and recover.
Visitors to California spent $65.1 billion in 2020, a 55 percent decrease from 2019. The number of travel and tourism jobs decreased to 861, 000. Travel-generated tax revenue also decreased, providing $6.1 billion to State and local governments.
Nonetheless, the Golden State has one of the nation’s best per capita case rates for both recent weeks and the lifetime of the pandemic and ranks in the top 20 states in vaccination rates.
“For the first time since the pandemic began, visitors can now take in the full range of only-in-California, unforgettable vacation experiences,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “California is a place that welcomes all people and all dreams, and the time to travel here is now.”
Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton and chair of the California Assembly’s Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media, added: “Californians have stepped up throughout the last 15 months – sacrificing for public health amid economic hardship for many. Make no mistake, the tourism industry is poised to roar back and reestablish itself as a reliable economic driver and job producer.”
The travel and tourism industry is integral to our nation’s recovery—for the economy and American jobs. It is the spirit of travel that will heal our country’s morale.