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Director of Research

Recently Filled Position




The Director is responsible for overseeing travel and tourism research, analysis and evaluation related to the policies and marketing programs of Visit California. The Director is the primary supplier of California tourism statistics to the overall state travel industry, including assessed businesses, Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), academic institutions, economic development professionals, media, elected officials and the general public. The successful candidate will be responsible for managing all secondary research sources and distributing tourism research statistics in a variety of formats to support all aspects of tourism market planning and development.


Key Duties & Responsibilities:
Estimated % of Time 

30% Support the strategic planning, marketing and communication activities of Visit California:

  • Gather, analyze and provide travel data and market intelligence used in the selection and evaluation of target markets, advertising media and trade shows; contribute to newsletters, reports, articles, presentations, and briefings.
  • Plan, organize and implement studies to determine the Return on Investment (ROI) and evaluate the effectiveness of Visit California’s marketing program.
    • Determine appropriate methodologies, definitions and best practices that will yield accurate, reliable and credible results for measuring ROI and performance.
    • Assist in substantiating budget requests.
  • Oversee or participate in the development of brand research, focus groups and other qualitative research.
  • Participate in the development of cooperative (shared-cost) international or niche market research projects.

30% Produce the economic impact, visitor tracking, and other core research studies of Visit California.

  • Determine appropriate methodologies and best practices that will yield accurate, reliable and cost-effective data on in-state, out-of-state and international travel volumes, impacts, trends, and demographics.
  • Develop and approve budgets and scopes of work, oversee requests for proposals and bids as needed; select vendors; monitor progress; manage contracts; resolve disputes.
  • Review, analyze, edit and approve consultant questionnaires, charts, graphs, reports, articles and presentations.
  • Produce content for an industry research newsletter.

15% Promote appreciation of the importance of travel and tourism to the state economy through the dissemination and appropriate use of tourism research and statistics.

  • Provide assistance to the California travel industry and opinion leaders in accessing and understanding travel and tourism impacts and research, especially California DMOs, assessed businesses, media, and trade and economic development associations. For example:
    • Determining the local economic impact, cost-benefit or feasibility of tourism marketing initiatives, development projects, and policy changes.
    • Estimating impacts of floods, earthquakes, droughts, fires, transportation disruptions or improvements.
    • Forecasting travel demand.
    • Case studies in rural, ethnic, cultural, and other niche markets.
  • Respond to special requests from Visit California board members, assessed businesses, DMOs, legislators, media, other agencies, etc.
  • Conduct special studies as needed to support the marketing and industry communications charters of Visit California.

5% Act as technical expert in matters pertaining to tourism statistics and trends.

  • Represent California in meetings and projects with specialists in other states or agencies to develop and evaluate methods for measuring and analyzing travel volumes, characteristics, impacts and trends.
  • Prepare and review proposals, reports and articles; give presentations at conferences, workshops and seminars.
  • Serve on professional committees and panels working toward the general improvement and advancement of travel and tourism research methods and standards.

10% Maintain a knowledge base that enables California tourism to provide a high degree of expertise to citizens seeking information and referrals on diverse travel-related topics and data needs such as: US and worldwide travel and tourism, regional and local tourism development, leisure behavior, outdoor recreation, ecotourism, cultural tourism, gaming, sports, skiing, the hospitality industry, restaurants, airlines, airports, rental cars, etc.

  • Maintain a research library and data files.
  • Establish and maintain affiliation with professional organizations; attend seminars and conferences; deliver papers and presentations.

10% Perform special assignments for the Visit California executive team and other duties as deemed appropriate, including assistance and backup to the all aspects of Visit California’s tourism marketing program and industry communications.


Essential Qualifications:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each key duty satisfactorily, and demonstrate the following:

  • Knowledge of research methods and techniques, statistical and other methods used in the analysis and projection of data, survey methods and analytical techniques.
  • Ability to plan, direct and advise others on highly complex and sensitive projects and prepare and present technical reports.
  • Budget and project management experience.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; high degree of proficiency in synthesizing and communicating data from a variety of disciplines.
  • Ability to communicate and work well with others in a professional office environment.
  • Minimum of six years of professional experience in a research capacity.
  • Education equivalent to Bachelor’s Degree or higher in marketing, recreation, tourism or related fields a plus.
  • Strong organizational skills; ability to handle multiple tasks, meet deadlines and manage priorities.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office products and other graphics or presentation software; familiarity with statistical software desirable.

Work hours regularly exceed 40 hours per week.

Some travel may be required.


In addition to a competitive salary, Visit California offers an excellent health benefit package. We also offer a fantastic PTO and holiday leave package, 401(k) plan, job-specific skill training, parking and much more!


Please send your cover letter, resume, speaking or presentation samples and salary requirements via email to Sacramento Staffing Agency: help@sacramentostaffingagency.com.

Visit California has an organizational commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusion. 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 reasonable accommodation.