As Californians took to the polls yesterday, there’s something we all can agree on, that tourism should have everyone’s vote. As attention turns to November and beyond, the travel and tourism industry continues to be shining bright for the Golden State.
This week also marks the 30th annual CalTravel Summit which features panel discussions and sessions on mobile and technology, attractions, customer service and team building. I was honored to speak yesterday about the power of partnerships from the efforts in our local communities to global programs, especially engagement with Brand USA. With more than $1.6 billion spent on travel promotion each year, it is important to know how to use that money wisely.
The new national goal is to welcome 100 million visitors per year by the year 2021. Visa reforms are a key step, but we also need to interact with visitors and attract them to California through social media, marketing, like California’s “Summer of Fun” campaign, and using qualitative research to determine how visitors make travel decisions. We are providing content on Google Currents, Google+, Digg, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other platforms to build on our state’s global brand.
We also celebrate the best of California through programs like California Restaurant Month, travel trade resources, China Ready initiative, and participation in domestic and international trade shows, missions, events and familiarization (FAM) tours. Visit California will continue to preserve California’s global brand and innovate to spur repeat visitation and transcend the travel industry.
The numbers don’t lie. With $102.3 billion in annual direct travel spending and nearly a million jobs resulting from the industry in California, supporting tourism is a clear winner.