California Travel Tips

Can Californians Travel, Stay at Hotels, etc.?

Published on: May 07, 2020

Pictured: The famous Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle. Tours were temporarily suspended beginning in March.

On Friday, May 8, 2020, California heads into Stage 2 of reopening. “Millions of Californians answered the call to stay home and thanks to them, we are in a position to begin moving into our next stage of modifying our stay at home order,” said Governor Newsom.

Some retail, manufacturing, and businesses (including bookstores, clothing stores, florists and sporting goods stores) reopen Friday – with modifications. Dine-in restaurants are part of a later Stage 2 opening.

Hotels were not required to close in March, though many did so because of low demand. By mid-April, 70 of San Francisco’s 215 hotels in the city were temporarily closed. Hotel occupancy rates in San Francisco have stayed around 80-85% during the past five years, but plunged to around 6% weeks before mandatory shelter-in-place orders.

California has been the hardest hit of 50 states in terms of hotel revenue, and it rivals Florida for theme park and attraction revenue losses, as well.

California theme parks & attractions are indefinitely closed at this point and there are so many other closures and restrictions that vacations may initially focus on visits to see friends and relatives, or drives to see the state’s beautiful landscapes.

In a recent Visit California survey of travel-related businesses:

  • 43% of┬ábusinesses had permanently laid off workers
  • 85% had instituted some furloughs
  • 60% were either fully or partially shut down
  • 96% said the pandemic has had a significant negative impact on their bottom line
  • March revenue dropped by more than 50% from March 2019 for two-thirds of businesses

Visit California’s recent furloughs and layoffs reduced overall staff levels to less than half of what they were before the pandemic. “While painful, these reductions are necessary to ensure Visit California survives to help jump-start the recovery,” said Caroline Beteta, President & CEO.

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