Despite the fact that California is circling the drain financially, the state’s tourism industry is pumping. Last Thursday, members of the business community gathered for the S.B. Conference and Visitors Bureau and Film Commission’s annual luncheon to hear Caroline Beteta, CEO of California Travel and Tourism Commission, discuss why tourism is important. According to Beteta, California generated $87.7 billion from visitors, and that number is expected to rise over the next few years. This is good news for Santa Barbara, a city that makes nearly $1.50 billion a year from tourism.