Calif. -- After two years without any state funding for tourism,
the California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC) received a $7.3
million allocation from the state legislature for the fiscal year
that started July 1.
made the allocation with the provision that the privately run
commission makes a matching contribution of some $4
The CTTC already
generates $6.9 million each year from assessments of 5,500
California tourism or travel-related businesses.
The additional $4
million will bring CTTCs 2005-06 budget to $18.25 million, said
Caroline Beteta, CTTC executive director. Its going to be a
colossal jump, she said.
The CCTC will
generate the extra $4 million through voluntary assessments and
contributions that will be directed to co-op programs, she
During the last
two years, California had no tourism marketing funds from public
With a budget of
$6.9 million -- compared with $14 million in 2002 -- the CTTC could
only spend about $2 million on advertising.
With the new
budget, some $8 million will be devoted to advertising, but the
CTTC will stretch that amount to $10 million through cooperative
campaigns with partners, such as airlines, she said.
Most will be
spent on national cable TV advertising, using the campaign of the
last two years: California. Find Yourself Here.
Beteta said the
additional funding will enable the CTTC to restore a program that
promotes rural California and devote more marketing and public
relations dollars to domestic and international markets.
The added funding
will help raise Californias market share, which has been stagnant,
Weve seen some
direct correlation between the downsizing of our funding and market
share, she said.
Californias domestic visitors rose from 300 million in 2003 to 314
million in 2004, Beteta said the state lost market share to states
such as Nevada and Hawaii that spend millions more on
In 2003, we had
10.7% of domestic market share, and in 2004 we were at 10.8% so we
were flat. In 2002, we had been at 11.5%, so you can see the slump
from the fall-off in the advertising program, she said.
The cut in public
funding came during Californias fiscal crisis, which affected
virtually every state program.
While the state
still faces a deficit and budget constraints, Beteta said, the
difference is that we have state leadership today [under Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger] that sees tourism as a key
The CTTC is a
nonprofit entity created by the legislature in 1995 to develop and
maintain marketing programs through annual assessments, which were
combined with public funding each year.
Two years ago,
with the elimination of public funding, the state office of tourism
was shut down and the CTTC took over much of its efforts in
promotion and fulfillment.
reporter Laura Del Rosso, send e-mail to [email protected].