Local tourism last year produced $21.3 billion in economic impact, according to a new report from the Orange County Visitors Association.
About 59% or $12.5 billion of that impact was in direct spending, according to a report presented by OCVA earlier this year at its hospitality trade show.
2018 direct spending through August is about $8.9 billion, up 4.3% year-over-year, OCVA estimates show.
Local tourism last year generated $2.5 billion in tax revenue, with 29% of that—$715 million—going to the state. Another 17% went to local entities via sales, lodging, and other taxes, according to the report, prepared by Tourism Economics LLC in Wayne, Penn.
The industry supports 179,000 jobs, including about half that number in food, beverages and recreation—restaurants and Disneyland, for instance—and 30% of the total in lodging and retail, with the rest spread across ancillary areas.
Nearly all lodging jobs in the county support tourism, the report said, and three-fourths of OC’s food, beverages, and recreation jobs do so. Tourism connects to about 8% of retail jobs in the county.
Some 37% of overnight guests in OC came from California; 9% came from other countries, mostly Mexico, Canada, and China.