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Director of Trade and Group Business

Open Positions



Start Date

November 03, 2022


Position Summary:

Develops and oversees all Visit California’s meetings, groups and travel trade programs as it relates to the promotion of California as the premier leisure travel and meeting destination. These multi-million-dollar programs include cooperative programs with trade partners, consortiums, tradeshows, familiarization tours, product trainings and other initiatives targeting the meetings and travel trade industries. For meeting planner strategy, the initiatives focus on event and meeting planner trade show integration, roadshow planning and execution, site visits and always-on asset development. Duties include connecting with meeting planners, tour operators, wholesalers, travel agents, and airline executives promoting California as leader in the trade and meeting segment.  

The Director plays a significant role in driving major organizational priorities forward, such as airlift development, new trade-forward technology platforms and strategic direction and execution of a statewide meeting initiative focused on small and large groups to expedite the recovery of the meeting segment to California.

Works closely with the Associate Vice President of Global Marketing, international marketing team, international agency network along other Visit California departments such as public relations, consumer brand, consumer content and B2B industry relations on cross-departmental initiatives. The Director regularly contributes and serves as strategic lead to produce educational programs for California’s leisure and group tourism industry such as Visit California Outlook Forum, California Luxury Forum, California hosted conference and event sponsorships.  Reporting and measurement are also important functions of the role, be it reporting to Visit California’s Board and International Advisory Committee and the Professional Meetings & Events (PME) Task Force or showing the value of the trade and meeting and convention programming to participating industry stakeholders. Frequent travel and public speaking are required.


Specific responsibilities include:

  • Develop effective travel trade marketing programs in alignment with Visit California’s consumer marketing strategy that drive visitation and that reinforce the organization’s standing as an industry innovator.
  • Oversee management of major international and domestic trade shows, new air service launches and events; attend on behalf of Visit California and lead industry delegations as required.
  • Develop strategy for global trade training and sales tools and oversee their implementation and evolution to keep Visit California on the cutting-edge in the space.
  • Develop and execute a progressive meeting strategy to benefit California industry partners. Programs include negotiation and execution of sponsorship opportunities with meeting planner outlets, leading trade show branding and on-site presence, domestic roadshows, asset development, content creation and strategic lead for internal and external partners.
  • Develop ongoing communication strategy geared toward the meetings industry to showcase California as a premier meeting destination.
  • Create communication strategy and creative platforms to showcase California’s destinations and venues to key domestic meeting planners.
  • Work closely with research team and industry partners to create measurement of trade and meeting programs to show measurable growth and advancement of program.
  • Develop strategic alliances with both endemic and non-endemic brands.
  • Interface with California’s travel and tourism industry partners on travel trade co-op programs (trade campaigns, training platforms, tradeshows, familiarization tours, etc.) and inquiries related to travel trade programs and trends.
  • Manage multi-million-dollar budget and reconciliation, including recommending appropriate investments in the trade and meeting disciplines.
  • Keep executive team apprised of the latest travel trade and PME trends, opportunities, and threats.
  • Participate in RFP selection process for international marketing representation firms.

Key Duties & Responsibilities:

  • 25% Strategy Development Reporting: Create annual strategic trade and PME marketing plan in collaboration with executive leadership, research department, international marketing directors and other internal teams. Stay abreast of industry trends and the evolution of California's leisure travel and meeting industry to refine strategies as required for both proactive and reactive marketing. Oversee all reporting including weekly analysis, monthly reports, quarterly Board reports, internal committees, task forces, and the annual Year in Review.
  • 40% Program Execution: Oversee global travel trade programs and year-round trade activities in collaboration with international team, including management of trade shows and sales events.  Develop and execute domestic PME activities, including trade show and event integration, roadshows, and site visits. Oversee trade and PME campaign development and execution from planning, development, execution to post-campaign measurement.
  • 10% Training & Tools: Develop strategy and oversee implementation of global travel trade training and engagement platforms online and offline. These include California Star online training portal for all travel trade audiences; large-scale familiarization tours for product managers and agents; webinars; and Club California in-market training events. Develop strategy for PME content dissemination evaluation of partnerships, and creation of tools to benefit California partners in the meeting space.
  • 10% Business Development: Establish and maintain relationships with trade and meeting executives in the domestic and global markets. Represent Visit California at key industry events such as Brand USA's sales missions, U.S. Travel Association IPW, Meeting Professional International (MPI), PCMA, and other key partners' events. Identify and establish strategic alliances with both endemic and non-endemic brands.
  • 10% Industry Relations: Interface with California travel and tourism industry partners including regional destination marketing organizations, hotels, attractions, retailers, car rental agencies and other segments. Field inquiries. Deliver presentations and participate in meetings to create new marketing opportunities, educate industry partners on Visit California's trade and meeting strategy, tools and marketing specific programs and secure participation/support.
  • 5% Other: Miscellaneous duties as assigned by supervisor.

Essential Qualifications:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each key duty satisfactorily, as well as exhibit the following qualifications:

  • Ability to communicate and work well with others in a professional office environment and in the global marketplace.
  • Excellent relationship management skills and the ability to build and grow connections with people of all types and backgrounds.
  • Independent critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented, with the ability to keep multiple projects and client engagements active at once.
  • Minimum of 10 years of professional experience in the tourism industry and/or meeting industry.
  • Previous management experience in travel trade development and marketing, cooperative programs, and partner management.
  • Proven track record of working in the meeting industry including client events, trade shows, conferences, and established client relationships within the meeting industry.
  • Education equivalent to a bachelor’s degree or higher in marketing, communications, business, international relations, tourism, or related field is a must.
  • Certified Media Planner (CMP) and/or PCMA certifications a plus.
  • Must be able to travel domestically and internationally.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Must be comfortable with public speaking in small and large group environment.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office products, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.



In addition to a competitive salary, Visit California offers an excellent health benefit package. The organization also offers a fantastic PTO and holiday leave package, 401(k) plan, job-specific skill training, employee discount network, employee assistance program (EAP), gym access, parking, hybrid work environment and many additional perks!


Please send your cover letter, resume, salary requirements and two (2) writing samples by email to Visit California Jobs: jobs@visitcalifornia.com.

Visit California has an organizational commitment to the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. In that spirit, we welcome all qualified individuals without regard to race, religion, color, sex, ancestry, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, national origin, medical condition, U.S. veteran/military status, pregnancy, or requests for reasonable accommodations.