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Let’s Bring the World to

California tourism economy grew in 2021; still lags pre-pandemic peak.

Visitor Spending
State & Local Tax Revenues
*Statistics reflect the 2021 calendar year. Source: Dean Runyan Associates, Inc.
Ontario California Welcome Center
Leverage Your Welcome Center: Open House Series

By Gohar Manukyan

California Welcome Centers are a valuable resource for regional tourism businesses. Join Visit California and Welcome Center staff to learn how Welcome Centers can promote your business and how you can partner with your local center to create a positive visitor experience. The networking event series kicked off at the Ontario Welcome Center and made its way to the desert region visiting the Cabazon and Yucca Valley centers. Visit California and Welcome Center staff shared valuable tips on how businesses can better promote themselves, and partner with their local center to take advantage of the resources they have to offer. Events were also hosted in Northern California’s Gold Country, Central Valley, and Central Coast regions.   The next series of open houses will take place in the San Diego and Orange County region in November. Register for this opportunity to learn partner with your local California Welcome Center and Visit California. Enjoy light food and beverage and the chance to win raffle prizes, including a free registration for Outlook Forum & Winter Board Meeting 2023!   Upcoming Events   Past Events Oceanside Nov. 15, 4-6 p.m. California Welcome Center 928 North Coast Highway Oceanside, CA 92054 Cross Border Xpress Nov. 16, 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. California Welcome Center 2745 Otay Pacific Drive San Diego, CA 92154 San Clemente Nov. 16, 5-7 p.m. California Welcome Center 101 W Avenida Vista Hermosa #190 San Clemente, CA 92672 Gilroy August 24, 4:30-6:30 p.m. California Welcome Center Gilroy Premium Outlets 8155-6 Arroyo Cir Gilroy, CA 95020 Salinas August 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m. California Welcome Center 1 Station Pl Salinas, CA 93901 Pismo Beach September 1, 5-6:30 p.m. California Welcome Center Pismo Beach Premium Outlets 333 5 Cities Dr #100 Pismo Beach, CA 93449 Fairfield May 10, 4:30-6:00 p.m. Jelly Belly Factory 1 Jelly Belly Lane Fairfield, CA 94533  Auburn May 12, 5-6:30 p.m. 1103 High Street Auburn, CA 95603   El Dorado Hills May 25, 5-6:30 p.m. 2085 Vince Street, Suite 105 El Dorado Hills, CA 95762 Ontario May 2, 5-6:30 p.m. Ontario Mills One Mills Circle, Suite 1054 Ontario, CA 91764  Cabazon May 3, 4-5:30 p.m. 48750 Seminole Drive Cabazon, CA 92230  Yucca Valley May 4, 5:30-7 p.m. 56711 Twentynine Palms HWY Yucca Valley, CA 92284
Half Moon Bay coast
Bay Area Regional DMOs Kick Off New Destination Mixer Program in Sacramento

By Gohar Manukyan

DMOs representing Bay Area destinations joined Visit California staff at the Sutter Club in Sacramento for the premiere Destination Mixer event. Each Destination Mixer event features DMOs from a single California region with the aim of helping Visit California effectively support local tourism. The new format replaces the longstanding Destination Third Thursday program, which featured programs by single DMOs. The regional representation immerses staff in local tourism to help them appreciate the differences and commonalities throughout California’s regional destinations.  Associate VP of Global Brand Advertising Erika DiProfio snaps a selfie with staff. Five Bay Area DMOs participated in the premiere event: Healdsburg Tourism Improvement District, San Francisco Travel Association, Sonoma County Tourism, Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau, The San Francisco Peninsula and Visit Oakland. Each shared insights about the newest tourism experiences, regional strengths and challenges, and created a sensory connection to their destinations with local cuisine and creative sensory experiences. Visit Oakland shared two innovative tourist trails in the city, the cannabis and vegan trails. Oakland is one of a handful of pioneering California cities helping visitors understand the historical and cultural roots of cannabis by guiding them to sites like America’s first cannabis college, Oaksterdam University, and Harborside dispensary, which conducted the first legal recreational cannabis sale in the state. To give staff a taste of Visit Oakland’s vegan trail — which ranks near the top of their content — they shared Alfajores dulce de leche cookies from Wooden Table paired with iced coffee from local favorite Blue Bottle Coffee. Across the Bay, San Francisco Travel highlighted the explosion of open recreation spaces in the city, from the multi-use Presidio Tunnel Tops, which links Chrissy Field and the Presidio, to the rapid expansion of parklets, which has greatly expanded seating at many of the city’s most popular restaurants. An olfactory scents of the city tour brought to life the new park with the smell fresh eucalyptus, celebrated the city’s culinary scene with eucalyptus, lemongrass, and the rare chance to see many of Diego Rivera’s greatest murals and paintings at SFMOMA with Jose Cuervo Reserva Anejo.   San Francisco Travel staff share the scents of the city. The San Francisco Peninsula challenged staff to trivia questions that revealed surprising facts and hidden gems up and down the Bay. A seasonal highlight was the autumnal Half Moon Bay Arts & Pumpkin Festival, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and the world-famous Mavericks Surf Contest, which typically runs between late Autumn and early winter. Staff also touched on numerous other cultural and scenic destinations (Lighthouses? Check!) for the perfect fall selfie. New and veteran Visit California staff collaborate on SF Peninsula trivia. Two Sonoma DMOs – Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau and Sonoma County Tourism – celebrated the region as one of the world’s ideal climates for tourism and agriculture. Sonoma County Tourism shared bread from Goguette Bread  paired with olive oil from Gold Ridge Organic Farms  and tastes of Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Elder, perennially recognized as on of the best beers in the country. They also showed off their mobile app, which is helping tourists plan itineraries and identify sustainable businesses. Sonoma Vintner Kayla Berthoud quizzes staff on alternative liquors produced with wine grapes. In addition to providing a deep dive into Sonoma tourism, Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau brought local vintner Kayla Berthoud, who runs Berthoud Winery with her father. She shared her expertise and tastes of Sonoma wines, including a Berthoud Chasselas, a grape uncommonly found outside of Switzerland. Sonoma also discussed opportunities to participate in the wine harvest.  Healdsburg Tourism Improvement District positioned the rural city as an accessible and trendsetting alternative to wine country. For down-home flavor, visitors can attend the weekly Tuesdays in the Plaza music series, where longtime locals share wine and charcuterie with neighbors and guests alike. In the blocks around the city’s historic plaza are numerous Michelin-recognized restaurants, including the three-star SingleThread. Just north of Napa and Sonoma, Healdsburg makes an unforgettable addition to any wine country visit. Healdsburg Tourism Improvement District hands out sampler boxes of local favorites to Visit California staff. Visit California staff thank these Bay Area destinations for generously sharing their time and local delicacies with staff and look forward to meeting with representatives from another California region for next quarter’s Destination Mixer.  

California Pavilion at IMM USA 2023

January 2023 | Early bird pricing starting at $2,050


Outlook Forum & Winter Board Meeting 2023

March 2023 | Starting at $1199


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Orange County Beach
“The Visit California team were our go-to source for the most up-to-date California logistics related to the pandemic. They heard our team and supported our questions and strategies.”
Commissioner William Loughran | COO
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