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California Welcome Center expansion kicks off with statewide RFP
California Welcome Center expansion kicks off with statewide RFP

By Amy Chambers
Posted 12 days ago

For the first time in four years – and on the heels of the launch of a Strategic Plan and new signature – the California Office of Tourism is excited to announce the release of the California Welcome Center Request for Proposals to designate brand-new California Welcome Centers SM across the state. 

The Welcome Center program provides a statewide network of readily accessible and recognizable visitor information centers that encourage tourism within California and provide benefits to the state economy. There are currently 16 CWCs throughout California.

The Office of Tourism’s goal is to designate a California Welcome Center in each tourism region to provide the best services available to California visitors. As valued travel industry partners, the Welcome Centers are listed at no cost in state- or California Travel and Tourism Commission-funded marketing endeavors.

About the California Welcome Center program

  • California Welcome Centers are promoted throughout the California Official State Visitor’s Guide and Travel Planner, which has a global circulation of 500,000 in addition to 100,000 copies downloaded. Additionally, Welcome Centers are highlighted in each regional map in the California Visitor's Guide, and a digital version of the publication is available online via visitcalifornia.com.
  • The California Official State Map places information about the Welcome Centers on the back panel of the map – a premium placement for the publication.
  • The California Road Trips guide promotes the Welcome Centers throughout the publication and contains a listing that provides Welcome Center contact information and directions. One million copies of this publication are distributed annually.
  • Each California Welcome Center has a dedicated page on the Visit California's consumer website under the site's California Welcome Center section, where each center is listed by region. Many are also featured in various trip itineraries. The site receives an average of 1.5 million unique visits per month.
  • As an official state-designated office, California Welcome Centers have an exclusive agreement with the California Department of Transportation for freeway signage directing motorists to their location, which complement smaller, “trailblazer” signs on local city streets to further direct motorists off the freeway and to their sites. Research has found that freeway signage dramatically increases the number of visitors to the centers.

The Notice of Intent to Propose is due by July 20, 2018

Click here to view the California Welcome Center RFP.

A Proposer Conference call has been scheduled for 1 p.m. on July 13, 2018. Email Amy Chambers at achambers@tourism.ca.gov for dial-in and access information.   

Brazil Sales Mission
Largest mission to date makes a splash in South America

By Jennifer Montero
Posted 8 days ago

This spring's 2018 Brazil Sales Mission marked the largest to date – both in terms of delegation and overall clients reached throughout the week – at a time when the South American nation's outbound leisure market is beginning to see an upswing after a challenging few years.

The biannual trade mission made stops in the country's biggest cities, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte. Throughout the week, the California delegationcomprising 14 delegates – including six first-timers – met and trained 225 agents through the California STAR sales and training platform, with an additional 75 tour operators and trade partners reached. 

Highlights from the record-setting journey included a B2B reception; appointments at the National Football Museum in Sao Paulo; and a successful VIP turnout by 45 owners, operators and trade media, replete with a live DJ to add a fitting soundtrack to festivities.

Over the last three years, Visit California remained invested to the market despite an economic downturn. Visit California maintained a steady foundation of trade activities and PR touch points, with a strong emphasis on digital influencers.

Despite the recent challenges, Brazil is primed for substantial growth as stability returns to the region, particularly in the luxury sector. Projections of Brazil's economy represent an increase of 2- to 3-percent growth over the next year. To this end, Visit California remains steady in the market, and this mission in particular remains a foundational element of the organization's overall strategy. And with the largest delegation in tow, the mission was a major win for California.

With nearly 1.9 million Brazilians traveling to the United States each year, California continues to grow efforts toward a promising and successful future within the Brazilian market. Missions like this year's are a critical way to deepen relationships and foster collaboration in the South American powerhouse — and this journey was certainly one to remember.


Brazil Sales Mission

June 2018 | Starting at $3,000


IFTM Top Resa Paris, France

September 2018 | Starting at $3,000


California STAR

Ongoing | Starting at $3,500


Digital content submission - PR

Ongoing | FREE

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