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Visit California inspires travel, one visitor at a time.

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*Statistics reflect the 2019 calendar year. Source: Dean Runyan Associates, Inc.
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Join US Travel's Let's Go There Campaign

By Leona Reed
Posted 20 days ago

Visit California is proud to join dozens of industry and DMO partners as a Gold sponsor of U.S. Travel’s “Let’s Go There” campaign, officially launching next Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The nationwide campaign aims to increase consumer confidence in travel by promoting one activity all Americans participate in: planning a vacation. This tremendously important team effort by America's travel industry has the potential to significantly accelerate recovery, and U.S. Travel has made it easy to join the coalition

Let's Go There Soon promotional image

At Visit California and other destinations where consumer sentiment and health crisis data have not yet allowed broad travel promotion, the “Let’s Go There, Soon,” campaign focuses more on a “plan now, travel later approach.” Both include the hashtag #Let’sMakePlans and the important walk up: “When it’s time for you, we’ll be ready.” Visit California will amplify this message with homepage takeovers, social media integration and a California Now podcast inclusion. Assets for “Let’s Go There, Soon,” and “Let’s Go There” are available on U.S. Travel’s website.

Update: View the California "Let's Go There" video promo on the Visit California Instagram.

VisitCalifornia.com Let's Go There takeover image

This more cautious, future-focused promotion aligns with Visit California’s Responsible Travel initiative, which provides resources to facilitate safe, sustainable tourism that serves California communities — many of which continue to face significant challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. Travel continues to push its #TravelConfidently effort as Visit California expands the reach of #RespectCalifornia through the responsible travel hub and travel code. Coming Soon: Visit California’s public service announcement on responsible travel.

 

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PR Pulse Report August 2020

By Kristen Bonilla
8/19/2020

The PR industry survey clearly indicated an industry need for robust media and trend reporting. To address this, Visit California will deliver a monthly PR Pulse Report with insights from Visit California and its agency partners, trends, successful pitches and what’s new in the world of influencers.

Manage your Visit California email subscription settings to start receiving this report by email:

How to subscribe to PR Pulse screenshot

If you have any questions or would like to share suggestions for making this email series more helpful, please contact Domestic Public Relations Manager Kristen Bonilla.

Media Trends from MMGY NJF
More than five months into COVID-19’s spread throughout the U.S., travel and lifestyle coverage continues to shift to account for everchanging traveler preferences.

  • Domestic destinations continue to gain appeal, as U.S. travelers can only visit 28 countries globally at the moment, and many of these places have restrictions. While Americans in general are still wary of traveling (especially internationally), Croatia — the only country in the EU to allow American visitors — has seen a 300% spike in flights from the U.S.
  • Staycations continue to trend with related inquiries and coverage from outlets like Los Angeles Magazine, Haute Living, 7X7 and more. This aligns strongly with findings from MMGY Travel Intelligence’s Travel Pulse Survey, which reported that 58% of leisure travelers say they will substitute vacations with staycations for the remainder of 2020.
  • Brands are making big changes to appeal to the ultra-affluent. Fiji announced its "Blue Lanes” campaign to welcome tourists arriving by yacht and attract a smaller number of people with more spending power. Famed hotelier André Balazs announced plans to transform iconic properties like Chateau Marmont into private clubs.
  • Micro-weddings are trending. With large groups still widely discouraged, many couples are planning micro-weddings, or even planned elopements. HOTELS reported how properties are accommodating this trend. Sites like Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides and Betches have published how-to planning guides

Editorial Trends from Meredith
Our partners at Meredith have compiled 2021 editorial calendar from each of the brand’s travel-related publications to help you with your long-lead pitching.

Additionally, they’ve offered the below insights on editorial pivots, as the consumer tolerance for “travel inspiration” messaging is waning. As states begin to reopen, consumers want to know what they can do now.

Editorial Pivots:

Fall Trend: Remote Learning
The widespread adoption of distance learning will free many families to travel this fall. According to Destination Analysts, when asked about fall travel related to virtual learning, Californians are more likely to travel relative to the US as a whole. 50% of Californians — versus 34.5% of total US respondents — indicated they were more likely to take additional family trips this fall if not constrained by a traditional schedule.

The remote learning trend has been reported in The Points Guy and Adweek. Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita has received a lot of coverage for its “Knowledge for All Seasons” program, complete with WiFi, popsicles and study cabanas.

Media Updates
The pandemic continues to force media outlets to reconsider how they do business, especially in the travel space. Here are some recent impacts:

  • Digiday declared this past month “the second wave of media layoffs.”
  • Publications like Vox, BBC, Guardian News & Media and McClatchy are now experiencing big staffing changes.
  • Print is on the decline at Hearst Magazines:
    • O, The Oprah Magazine ceasing regular print editions after December 2020
    • Marie Claire is publishing seven issues down from 11 in 2019
    • Esquire is down to six issues from eight in 2019
    • Harper’s Bazaar is down to nine issues from 10 in 2019
    • Cosmopolitan, Elle and Good Housekeeping are down to 10 from 12 issues in 2019

Trending Pitches & Story Ideas
Visit California’s earned media team continues to pitch stories to keep California top of mind, as well as respond to topical reactive leads. Below is a list of successful pitches over the summer and samples of the resulting coverage.

Most viewed story ideas for July in the Visit California Media Center:

  • California's Most Instagram-worthy Hotels
  • Northern California's Idyllic Lake Escapes
  • Stargazing in California
  • Discover California's Most Instagrammable Places

While two of the top four story ideas are new and themed around outdoor experiences. The two Instagrammable pieces are more than a year old, showing virtual and photogenic content is still highly sought after by media.

Influencer Content
The pandemic-driven boost in time spent on social media platforms, expected to hold through the end of 2020, has had a mixed impact on influencer content.

  • The increase in time spent on social media during the pandemic is here to last: 34% of users said they were somewhat likely to continue using social media to the same extent and 30% stated this was very likely.
  • Before the pandemic, 36% of U.S. social media users followed an influencer for their travel content. During the pandemic, this dropped to 21% but is expected to rebound once overall sentiment surrounding travel has improved.
  • With the shift of content as a result of the pandemic, 51% of U.S. active social users have cited that they follow an influencer to learn something new, followed closely by 48% who follow an influencer for entertaining or uplifting content.
  • Despite TikTok’s growing popularity in the U.S., especially with youth, only 10% of U.S. users claim to use the platform to follow influencers.
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