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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Even with soaring unemployment and a massive budget deficit, the state of California
continues to have a thriving tourism industry.

Visitors to the Golden State spent nearly $96 billion in the Golden State in 2010, up from $87 billion the previous year.

KNX 1070’s Chris Sedens reports the spike comes even as many families are cutting back on their budgets.

Karen Fish, VP of the California Travel & Tourism Commission, says in some ways a weak U.S.economy helps the tourism industry.

“A lot of times, based on the fluctuation of the dollar, [the state] gets the Australians, the Germans, the U.K.,” said Fish.

A jump in tourism spending often leads to a windfall in other sectors, which couldn’t come at a better time as the state struggles with falling revenues.

Direct employment in the travel and tourism industries was up 2 percent in the first quarter of 2011, with nearly 5.4 million jobs directly linked to tourism were created in 2010, while total tourism-related employment was 7.6 million.

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