Arnold Schwarzenegger has been credited as the driving force behind the survival of California’s tourism trade following last month’s fires.

VisitCalifornia deputy director of marketing Lynn Carpenter Schuman said the week-long fires were in four counties which generate 48% of the state’s $98 billion annual tourism revenues.

However, she added events could have been a lot worse had former Hollywood actor Schwarzenegger, who is the Governor of California, not been involved in the crisis right from the start.

Carpenter Schuman said: “There was incredible concern about people cancelling bookings once they heard about the fires but thanks to the Governor this didn’t happen.

“He has a great understanding of the importance of tourism and he was communicating with the media from day one.

“The Governor said the best way for people to help California was to keep on visiting it.”

Thanks to this message being so widely broadcasted, the destination has seen no real drop in tourism numbers, either from California’s domestic or international markets, she added.