Definition of Terms


Accommodation:  Spending for lodging by hotel and motel guests, campers, and vacation home users.


Air Transportation:  Air passenger spending attributable to travelers in and to California.  The spending total includes air travel spending made outside California for travel to California, purchases by California residents who travel outside the state, and air travel within the state.


Campers:  Travelers staying at RV parks and commercial campgrounds or at public campgrounds such as those in State or National Parks.


Day Visitor:  A traveler whose trip does not include an overnight stay and who travels out of his/her local area (50+ miles one way).


Destination Spending:  Spending by travelers at or near their destinations.  This excludes spending on air transportation and for travel arrangement.  All automobile operating expenses are included in the ground transportation component of destination spending.


Earnings:  Total earnings include wage and salary disbursements, other earned benefits, and proprietor income.  Only the earnings attributable to travel expenditures are included.


Eating, Drinking:  Businesses serving food and beverages for immediate consumption.  In addition to table service restaurants, this category includes fast-food outlets and refreshment stands.


Employment:  Industry employment (jobs) associated with the travel-generated payroll and proprietors.  This includes both full- and part-time positions. 


Expenditures:  Purchases by travelers during their trip, including lodging taxes and other applicable local and state taxes paid by the traveler at the point of sale.


Food Stores:  Grocery stores, supermarkets, fruit stands, retail bakeries, and other businesses selling food for consumption off the premises.


Ground Transport:  Spending on car rentals, gasoline and other vehicle operating expenses, and on local transportation such as taxi, bus and train.


Hotel and Motel Guests:  Travelers staying in hotels, motels, resorts, bed & breakfast establishments, condominiums, and other lodging places where the transient occupancy tax is collected.


Local Tax Receipts:  Tax revenue collected by counties and municipalities, as levied on applicable travel-related businesses (includes the transient lodging and local sales taxes).


Private Home Guests:  Travelers staying as guests with friends or relatives.


Receipts:  Travel expenditures less the sales and excise taxes imposed on those expenditures (also referred to as business receipts).


Recreation:  Spending on amusement and recreation, such as admissions to tourist attractions.


Retail Sales:  Spending for gifts, souvenirs, and other items (excludes spending listed separately, such as food stores or recreation).


Spending Distributions:  Information from visitor surveys showing how spending by each type of visitor is divided between various business categories.


State Tax Receipts:  State sales taxes, business and occupation taxes, motor fuel taxes and car rental taxes attributable to travel expenditures.


Transient Occupancy Tax:  A local tax charged on lodging (also referred to as room tax, transient lodging tax, hotel tax or bed tax).


Travel:  A day or overnight trip that is not of a local or commuting nature.  Travel may be for business or pleasure purposes.


Travel Arrangement:  Spending for fees paid to travel agents and tour operators.


Traveler:  A person traveling in California.  A traveler may be a California resident or a resident of another state.  The terms traveler and visitor have the same meaning in this report.


Vacation Home User:  Travelers using their own vacation home or timeshare and those renting a vacation home or privately-owned cabin where transient lodging tax is not collected.



Regional Travel Impact Model (RTIM) Methodology

Travel Impact Estimation Procedures


Travel Spending


Hotel, Motel, B&B.  Spending on commercial accommodations by hotel and motel guests is estimated from Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) collections at the city/county jurisdictional level. Spending by hotel and motel guests in other business categories, such as food and transportation, is estimated using spending distributions reported in the visitor survey data. The spending distribution shows how travelers divide their spending between lodging and other purchases.


Private Campground.  Spending by campers using commercial campgrounds is estimated from the number of commercial campsites, the average occupancy of these campsites (derived from state sources), and the average daily expenditures of visitor camp parties reported in survey data. Spending in other business categories is estimated in the same way as for hotel guests.


Public Campground.  Spending by campers using public campgrounds is estimated from visitor counts at national and state parks, national forests, and state and federally managed recreation areas, and then multiplying the visitation by daily spending estimates from the visitor survey.



Private Home.  Spending by private home guests is determined from visitor survey data estimating the number of visitors staying as guests of friends and relatives, and applying these rates to the household population base in individual counties.


Vacation Home.  Estimated spending by vacation home renters and owners is based on a ratio derived between the number of visitors staying in commercial accommodations and those staying in vacation homes, and the relative expenditure levels for each type of visitor. The state total is then distributed among the counties using housing data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census.


Day Travel.  The share of day visits as a percentage of total travel is estimated from visitor survey data and applied to average daily spending estimates to produce day visitor spending.


Note:  All visitor survey data referenced in this study was provided by D.K. Shifflet & Associates, with the exception of data pertaining to camping.  This information was obtained from a study of campers in California conducted by Dean Runyan Associates.

Air Transportation.  A payroll-to-receipts ratio for the airline industry is estimated from Air Transport Association (ATA) and U.S. Department of Labor data. This ratio is applied to air transportation payroll data supplied by the California Employment Development Department to obtain air transportation revenue. Additional data from ATA is used to estimate U.S. passenger revenue as a share of total U.S. commercial airline operating revenue and applied to the California air transportation receipts to estimate air passenger receipts only; impacts of air cargo operations are excluded.


Travel Arrangement. This category consists of travel agents' commissions and fees paid to tour operators. A payroll-to-receipts ratio is estimated from the Census of Transportation. Receipts are estimated using this ratio and payroll data from the California Employment Department. Data supplied by the Reed Publishing Group from the Louis Harris Travel Agency Survey provided a breakout of travel agent receipts by type of sale (i.e., airline, hotel, rental car, cruise, other).  However, these sales are included in other travel-related business categories, (e.g., airline ticket sales are included in air transportation), and are not broken out separately here.



Related Travel Impacts


Spending by travelers generates jobs, payroll, and state and local tax revenue.


Total Earnings generated directly from traveler expenditures are estimated from the payroll-to-receipts ratio obtained from the 1997 Economic Census for the State of California, and earnings estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.


Employment in each business category is calculated from wage data supplied by the California Employment Development Department, and earnings estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.


Local Taxes consist of local room taxes, or transient occupancy taxes, and local sales and use taxes applicable to traveler purchases in eating and drinking establishments, in retail stores, and on automobile rentals.


State Taxes consist of state sales taxes applied to traveler spending on accommodations, retail shopping, restaurant meals, entertainment, the state fuel tax levied on motor fuel purchases, and personal and corporate income taxes.