Market Overview

    Yr/Yr % Chg
Visitors to California (2014) * 220,000 6.9%
Visitor Spending (2014) ** $442 million 1.9%
California Market Share (2014) 9.7% -
Average Length of Stay - nights (2013) 9.3 -
Weekly Non-Stop Flights (2015) 10 -1.9%
Weekly Non-Stop Seats (2015) 2,618 -1.8%
2015 Visitation Forecast (% change vs. 2014) 249,000 7.8%
2018 Visitation Forecast (% change vs. 2014) 302,000 30.7%

Source: Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, CIC Research, Tourism Economics, OAG

* Visitor volumes: The U.S. Department of Commerce started to count one-night visitors in 2014. This change inflated Yr/Yr visitation gains compared to previous years but delivers a more accurate picture of total visitation.

** Visitor spending: The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis made changes to their methodology in 2014 to include spending by students, temporary workers, and people traveling for reasons related to their health. Although this change increased total travelers, some Yr/Yr declines in spending per visitor have been seen which are more likely related to the gaining strength of the US dollar vs. foreign currencies in the 4th quarter of 2014.

Visitor Spending by Category 2013

  % spending $ Category Spending
Accommodations 30.0% $130 million
Entertainment/Recreation 14.4% $62 million
Food & Beverage 13.8% $60 million
Ground Transportation 8.1% $35 million
Shopping 29.9% $130 million
U.S. Air Transportation 3.9% $17 million
Other 0.0% $0
Total 100% $434 million

Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce; CIC Research, Inc.; U.S. BEA; Tourism Economics


International Markets

Brazil is a key growth market for Visit California. In the last three years, the country has become a top priority due to new direct airlift and a growing middle class, among other factors.

More than 220,000 Brazilians traveled to California in 2014, a 6.9 percent increase over 2013, spending approximately $442 million, or $2,008 per trip, the third-largest spend of any Visit California global market. In 2013, visitors from Brazil stayed an average of 9.3 days in the state. 

Better airline connections and faster visa process favor more United States travel, which means a great opportunity for California to attract more Brazilian visitors and increase the length of stay and average trip spend.

For California, Europe remains a major competitor for the Brazilian traveler. With a similar travel profile and no visa requirements, countries such as France, Turkey, Italy, Portugal, Dubai and Spain are very active in the market. Domestically, East Coast destinations Florida and New York spend substantially on marketing in market and offer strong airlift and close proximity, making visitation to the East Coast more affordable with better accessibility.

More than 2.1 million Brazilians visited the United States in 2014, spending of $22 billion. For California, the impressive number of U.S. travelers from Brazil, who have travel visas and previous U.S. travel experiences presents great opportunity. Brazil’s projected growth of 30.7 percent through 2018 combined with long stays, high average trip spends, a growing middle class and rapid growth of the millennial generation reinforce why the market is of growing interest to California.


In 2014, Brazil’s Gross Domestic Product grew less than 1 percent and the country’s economy is forecasted to remain low in 2015. The U.S. is expected to continue to grow against the real. Last year, the real peaked to 2.75, however, despite the exchange rate, Brazilians spent 2.48 percent more abroad in 2014 over 2013.

Despite a less-than-positive economic scenario, Brazil’s unemployment rate in 2014 was the lowest in the past 12 years and Brazilians are expected to continue to spend money on travel, using their 30 days of annual leave to travel abroad.

In 2015, travel patterns are expected differ from 2014, when Brazil hosted the World Cup, resulting in less outbound travel. Brazilians remain optimistic about traveling – 66 percent believe they will travel more in the next two to three years than they have in the recent past.


Nonstop Air Service Into California

    Avg. Weekly Flights Avg. Weekly Seats  
Airport Airline 10 2,612 Cities Served
LAX American Airlines 7 1,729 Sao Paulo
  Korean Air Lines 3 883 Sao Paulo



With low oil prices, airfares are predicted to stabilize or fall by the second half of 2015. With increased competition to the United States, airfares are expected to decrease. After the launch of new direct flights from São Paulo to Los Angeles by American Airlines and Korean Airlines, other carriers have offered major promotions with highly competitive fares.

Brazilian travelers are comfortable with one-stop service for travel that offers additional flight options into California. More airlines have launched new flights from Brazil to the United States, including Azul Airlines and Dynamic Airways, with easy connections to California, which helped to shorten distances, save travel time and increase airlift options.


Trip Information and Booking Sources** (2013)

  Travel Information Air Travel Booking Methods
Travel Agencies 26.5% 30.7%
Airlines Direct 50.0% 33.4%
Tour Operators 10.0% 11.5%
Personal Computer/OTA 31.7% 32.0%
Corporate Travel Office 19.0% 11.0%
Personal Recommendation 50.3% n.a.
Travel Guide 25.0% n.a.


** multiple sources

Travel Trends

  • The Brazilian middle class, which represents 54 percent of the population, increased from 62 million in 2005 to 101 million in 2011 and is expected to make up 40 percent of the Gross Domestic Product by 2020. Their dream destination abroad is the United States.
  • Rapid growth of millennials who are expected to keep travelling and seek authentic experiences. In addition, travel planning for the segment will be online as they are more independent.
  • Growing importance of digital resources. According to TripAdvisor Brazil, 82 percent of Brazilians search online before buying any travel product. Fifty-sevel percent of Brazilian Internet users access social networks daily, well above the world average of 31 percent. Brazil is among the Top 5 countries on Facebook, with more than 50 million users.
  • Brazilians are more interested in luxury travel with an increase of upper-class consumers in the country, up 15 percent in 2014.
  • Culinary becoming a more important part of the travel journey.
  • Shopping is a must in any itinerary due to the high cost of goods in Brazil. Brazilians seek high-end products with outlet shopping seeing strong growth.
  • Demand for wellness and sports experiences, especially with the growth of celebrity bloggers with large audiences sharing on social media.
  • Expanding interest in themed cultural and entertainment events.
  • TV is still the most influential media among Brazilians. Last year, a local soap opera that had Turkey as part of the storyline, helped attract 80,000 new Brazilian visitors to the country. Dubai, who is the next destination for the soap opera, is expected to become a destination trend for 2015.
  • Incentive meeting market is growing fast in Brazil.


Market Strategies


  • Educate consumers via travel trade and public relation programs on California attributes and the variety that the state has to offer.
  • Increase travel trade training for key agents and operators in Rio de Janiero and São Paulo.
  • Strength alignment and partnerships with airline partners through FAMs, agent incentives and trainings.
  • Focus public relations program on key consumer media outlets, fashion, travel and lifestyle publications.



  • With funding substantially increased, focus on expanding visibility of the California brand via a robust public relations and trade engagement programs, as well as digital activation.
  • Begin to establish California brand through paid advertising, initially focusing on digital activities, which will leverage strong tablet usage in market, heavy social media use and, large number of millennials.
  • Trade planning includes education and positioning California as a multi-product region and year-round destination. Increase trainings to key operators, and boost number of FAMs, trade co-op programs and completion of the online training program.
  • Concentrate public relations efforts beyond São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro markets and the Southern Region, Porto Alegre and Curitiba. Focus on the California lifestyle message and target mainstream and digital influencers in the market.


2015/2016 Plan Highlights

Digital, trade and PR plan highlights in the expanded budget environment include:

  • Paid media strategy to focus on digital programming to fuel social engagement.
  • Aggressive monthly trade training to focus on São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro markets and to include the rapidly growing Southern Region of Porto Alegre and Curitiba. Sales incentives for completion of online training and increased FAM opportunities for top California selling agents.
  • California trade and media mission in October to generate trade connections and create media and social buzz through a PR stunt in São Paulo.
  • Focus efforts on the key planning periods of October through December and July and August to maximize the key travel periods of the market.
  • Increase trade partnerships with influential operators, both mainstream and niche operators, to deepen inclusion of California product while showcasing the pillars, especially luxury, and cultural and entertainment.
  • Expand media visits with a focus on bloggers and influential lifestyle media members to share experiences online.
  • Increase press release distribution and targeted pitching, including quarterly in-market media roundtable events geared to expand the knowledge of the California product and focus on the lifestyle pillars to targeted media influencers.

Familiarity & Interest of California Areas

  Like to Visit Like to Learn More About It I'm Not Interested
Los Angeles County 42% 57% 1%
San Francisco Bay Area 30% 62% 9%
San Diego County 27% 72% 1%
Orange County 15% 52% 34%
Central Coast 15% 57% 28%
Deserts 12% 80% 8%
Central Valley 11% 62% 27%
Gold Country 8% 45% 47%
North Coast 8% 56% 36%
High Sierra 6% 43% 52%
Inland Empire 4% 44% 52%
Shasta Cascade 3% 37% 60%

Source: Hall & Partners, August 2012

Top 10 Motivating California Features

Los Angeles 47%
San Francisco 45%
Hollywood 42%
Disneyland 39%
Beaches 38%
Beverly Hills 28%
Shopping Outlet Malls 28%
Universal Studios Hollywood 26%
San Diego 20%
Napa Valley/Wineries 18%

Source: Hall & Partners, August 2012


Daniela Schmitz
Managing Director
Camila Anauate
Account Director
Juliana Baraldi
Trade Manager
Flavia Silva
Public Relations Manager
Joel Silva
Content Manager
Edelman Significa
Phone: 55 11 3060 3155


Thank you to our Golden State Sponsors:
MeringCarson Time Inc