In 1995, at the travel industry’s urging, the Legislature adopted the Tourism Marketing Act. It gave the industry authority to create the nation’s first public-private partnership devoted to promoting state tourism. Industry-led from the very beginning, California’s travel and tourism businesses approved the self-assessment in 1998, which created the 501(c)6 nonprofit California Travel and Tourism Commission (dba Visit California).

In March 2013, California’s tourism-related businesses voted overwhelmingly to continue funding the state’s tourism marketing programs. Despite the record 93% approval rate, California’s tourism industry faces challenges because of increasing competitive pressures and the declining value of a budget that has not been adjusted for inflation due to a legislatively imposed cap that was recently removed.

This referendum – called by Chairman Michael E. Rossi, Senior Advisor to the Governor of California, with the unanimous authorization of the board of the California Travel and Tourism Commission – is the culmination of a multiyear industry-directed initiative to more competitively position California’s tourism industry.

See sample ballots below: