Tourism officials and labor groups call for guidelines for business meetings, events and conventions
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Frustrated officials and union leaders representing California’s business travel, events and conventions industry are calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to immediately issue statewide guidelines clarifying under what conditions business meetings, events and conventions in California can resume someday.
In a letter to Governor Newsom released today signed by 134 tourism officials and labor groups, advocates said California is losing business and jobs to other states not just today but in 2022 and beyond because of the uncertainty caused by a lack of guidelines.
They called on Governor Newsom to focus his attention immediately on this sector of the economy which accounted for $66.1 billion in direct spending and 457,000 jobs in 2019. For every month California delays opening for business meeting and events, the state is losing $4.1 billion in economic activity. This data comes from two studies from Oxford Economics released in October 2020.
In the letter, tourism and labor officials say that the governor’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy makes no mention of business meetings, events and conventions and no guidelines for safe future re-openings have been issued or even discussed by the Newsom administration.
“We’re not asking Governor Newsom to open California to business meetings and events tomorrow, we’re asking for a plan today so we can safely hold events in the future,” said Barb Newton, President & CEO, CalTravel. “These events bring more than just direct revenue and jobs. They bring people who spend money on hotel rooms, restaurants, local shops and services. The ripple effect is huge and benefits both large and small communities but we’re losing the benefits to other states.”