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Governor Newsom unveils travel incentive ahead of reopening on June 15

The governor announced a new incentive for Californians to get vaccinated, called "California Dream Vacations" as part of the state's 'Vax for the Win' program.

SAN FRANCISCO — Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled his plan to "jump-start travel and tourism" one day before the states full reopening on June 15, as more people get vaccinated.

The governor was in San Francisco Monday morning where he announced the details of a new incentive for Californians to get vaccinated, called "California Dream Vacations". It's another part of the state's 'Vax for the Win' program.

“From California’s coastlines to our theme parks to our breath-taking national forests, our state’s diverse terrain and unique communities make us the envy of the world when it comes to tourism,” said Governor Newsom. “As we move forward to a post-pandemic life, our tourism sector is expected to come roaring back – making us, once again, a global leader in hospitality and leisure.”  

On July 1, all Californians aged 18 and older who are at least partially vaccinated will have the chance to win in a randomized drawing for one of six different vacation packages to California’s gateway destination cities, including Anaheim, Greater Palm Springs, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Californians selected in the Dream Vacations drawing will also receive $2,000 to offset travel expenses.  

“We’re are announcing six ‘Dream Vacation’ packages to continue the incentive program beyond tomorrow and the state will provide an additional $2,000 for travel – so your travel is covered,” Newsom said.

The six trip packages include:

  • Discover the Best of Anaheim package for four
  • Greater Palm Spring Luxury package for two
  • Premium Los Angeles Experience for four
  • San Diego Beach Dream Vacation for four
  • San Diego Downtown Dream Vacation for four
  • San Francisco “Our Gate Is Open” Welcome Package for four

According to Visit California, this was a tourism economy that in 2019 racked up $145 billion. But it’s estimated to be maybe four years before the state can get back to that level.

Similar to the Vax for the Win cash prize drawings, winners of the Dream Vacations will be randomly selected from the pool of eligible Californians and will not be initially announced to protect their privacy. Winners may be announced at a later date, if they consent. Californians will be required to complete their vaccinations in order to claim their Dream Vacation. Details on the Dream Vacations packages can be found here

With the state reopening on Tuesday and the vaccination incentive in place, the governor said the idea is to put California in the limelight to help kick start the recovery.

Under the state's "Vax for the Win" program, $50 gift or grocery cards are being awarded to 2 million people who get their first dose of vaccine, while supplies last. The program has already given out $50,000 to 30 winners.

On Tuesday, the day California lifts the bulk of its COVID-19 restrictions, the state will pick 10 winners who will receive $1.5 million each.

Newsom said the incentive program has been effective, noting that the state has seen a 13% week-over-week uptick in the number of vaccines administered -- making California one of only a handful of states to see an increase in vaccination rates.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's Health and Human Services secretary, said Wednesday that 65% of California residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 53% are fully vaccinated. Ghaly noted that the state's rate of residents with at least one dose is likely above 70%, due to delays in reporting.

WATCH RELATED: California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy comes to an end June 15 (June 2021)

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