March 12th, 2020

Caroline Beteta, President and CEO Visit California

March 10, 2020 – AMID a challenging and changing global landscape, nearly 800 travel industry leaders gathered at Outlook Forum 2020 in San Diego to set a vision to ensure California’s travel industry continues to thrive.

The sellout crowd celebrated the unprecedented 95% approval of Visit California’s Marketing Renewal, a vote of confidence from Visit California’s 21,000-plus investor businesses. The successful renewal ensures Visit California’s global marketing programs will continue through 2025.

Visit California’s program of work continues to deliver success for the state’s entire travel industry. These programs pumped $14.8 billion incremental visitor spending into the state’s travel businesses — spending that would not have happened without Visit California’s marketing programs driving demand and active consideration.

Global Outlook

Despite this track record of success, California is navigating a challenging international landscape. World events have undercut growth expectations in key markets, and international travel to the U.S. is declining. But California is growing its slice of this shrinking pie. Even with the coronavirus outbreak affecting international travel, Visit California projects overall travel spending in the state to increase 2.9% this year.

At Visit California’s Winter Board Meeting, Commissioner Lenny Mendonca, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, urged a measured response to the outbreak. For additional resources, please see Visit California’s industry resource page.

Dream Big 2.0

At Outlook Forum, Visit California unveiled a refined Dream Big brand platform. Dream Big 2.0 creates a purpose-driven California brand that conveys the state’s spirit of inclusivity and the promise that California invites you to seek your own adventure, no matter who you are or what others may think. Visit California’s new umbrella spot this year will feature this “All Dreams, Always Welcome” message.

Destination Stewardship

A consistent finding in Visit California’s research is consumers’ focus on sustainability. Portraying California as a leader in sustainability is essential if the state is to attract the growing number of travelers who select destinations that align with their principles.

At last year’s Outlook Forum, Visit California introduced a new focus on destination stewardship. This year, thanks to the hard work of an industry task force led by former Commissioners Mike Freed and Jeff Senior, we unveiled a Destination Stewardship & Sustainable Travel Draft Plan. The plan outlines five objectives to ensure California’s tourism industry continues to thrive for generations to come.

Over the next few months, we will integrate Destination Stewardship Plan objectives with our marketing programs to protect, preserve and promote the California experience. The two-year integrated marketing plan will be proposed to the Visit California Board of Directors at the Spring Board Meeting in May.

As always, thank you for your leadership in making California the No. 1 travel destination in the country.

Credit: Visit California Communications