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Back-to-back India events yield big results for California delegation

By Anette Kaiser-Rott 10/04/2017

This fall, Visit California and industry partners from across the state embarked on two highly successful sales and media events to India – the annual Brand USA India Mission and Visit California’s second India Sales Day.

The whirlwind trip kicked off Sept. 10-15, as Visit California and 11 California tourism partners participated in the Brand USA India Mission, marking the sixth successive year of attendance. 

The annual mission was an opportunity for the California delegation to meet a large cross section of the Indian travel trade in addition to select media and corporate executives. This year, the visiting delegation traveled to Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi to engage in a full slate of buyer-seller meetings and VIP networking dinners, concluding with a media event in Delhi.

This year’s mission built on existing relationships and fostered new collaborations with the Indian travel industry. Visit California alone conducted 222 meetings over the course of five days, the VIP dinner receptions were attended by a total of 187 buyers. 

This outreach was strongly supported by the California delegation that represented a mix of the Golden State’s iconic destinations and attractions, including: Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board; San Francisco Travel Association; San Francisco International Airport; Universal Studios Hollywood; Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority; Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood; SeaWorld San Diego; Explore Marketing LLC; Roaring Camp Railroads; Hornblower Cruises & Events; and Red and White Fleet. Together, Visit California represented the largest state delegation of all 42 U.S. participants.

Following the Brand USA India Mission, 37 select agency owners, product managers, directors and travel agents from targeted Tier II and Tier III cities joined the California delegation for a stand-alone Visit California India Sales Day – now in its second year – in Gurgaon Sept. 16-17. 

Opening with a welcome reception on the first day, the following Sales Day was filled with intense conversations, education and exchanges. This was one of Visit California’s top initiatives to educate and network with tour operators from growing secondary Indian markets. 

“India is a priority market for us, and we foresee continued growth in visitation to California in the years ahead,” said Caroline Beteta, Visit California president and CEO. “The India Mission is a great platform for us to engage with our travel trade partners, share new and immersive experiences for Indian visitors like outdoor adventures, family fun activities, culinary bounty and luxury offerings.”

In 2016, 319,000 travelers visited California from India. Indian travelers stayed an average of 19.6 days on their trip spending $2,527 each, making them a valuable target market. By 2021, visitation from India is projected to reach 465,000, a growth of 45.8 percent.

As the connections deepen between these two destinations, the potential for growth in the Indian market is enormous. Visit California continues to invest and work with industry partners across the state to tap into this potential and keep the Golden State top-of-mind with Indian travelers.


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