*Please use this updated link to access the Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery list: https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Governors-Task-Force-on-Business-and-Jobs-Recovery.pdf

Dear Industry Partners,

We got some welcome news out of Washington and Sacramento about federal and California governments’ efforts to help tourism businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Congress appears on the verge of replenishing the pot of money available for the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses.

And on Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the membership of an economic task force to advise him on the reopening of California’s economy.

This is a significant milestone. While the health crisis from coronavirus remains of paramount concern to all of us, the governor is also seeking the best advice to ignite the second track of response – getting California’s economy moving.

The Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery includes 80 members. I encourage you to look over the list for connections you may have – and act on opportunities to provide information and context on behalf of the industry to people guiding the effort: https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Governors-Task-Force-on-Business-and-Jobs-Recovery.pdf

It’s an impressive group from A to Z. Not only does it include some real champions of tourism and hospitality, several industry heavyweights also will serve. Here are a few:

  • All four former governors – Pete Wilson, Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown – are on the task force. I’ve been privileged to work with all of them on California tourism issues. Gov. Wilson signed the Tourism Marketing Act. Gov. Davis beefed up marketing dollars after 9/11. Gov. Schwarzenegger, among other things, leveraged his star power to make an iconic California tourism spot. Gov. Brown, with his vast experience and vision, supported the industry reliably.
  • Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, as a former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary and now Gov. Newsom’s point person on international matters, gets the industry and its importance to California’s economy. In the past year, we have traveled together on missions to India and Mexico.
  • Ted Balestreri, our friend at the Cannery Row Co. and current chair of the California Restaurant Association.
  • Gillian Zucker, president of business operations for the Los Angeles Clippers, also served on the Visit California board when she was president of Auto Club Speedway.
  • Dan Beckerman, president & CEO of AEG, whose financial interests include pro sports teams and event venues throughout the state.
  • Bob Iger, executive chairman, The Walt Disney Company.
  • Amelia Ceja, president of Ceja Vineyards in Sonoma and Napa counties.
  • Janet Lamkin, the California state president of United Airlines.
  • Belinda Johnson, board member and former COO of Airbnb.

This group and others on the governor’s task force have an awesome responsibility over the coming months. As an industry that will help lead the recovery, California travel and tourism will be well-represented.

As always, thank you for your support and resilience during this time.

Dream Big!

Caroline Beteta
President & CEO
Visit California