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Year in Review

FY19/20

FROM THE CHAIR | Montage International

Though it is hard to overstate the challenges we have faced and equally hard to anticipate the immediate future, this annual report gives us the opportunity to reflect upon not only the hardship that is top of mind but also the successes that reinforce that California’s industry-funded and industry-guided marketing program continues to be best in class.  

As a hotelier, I’m grateful for the industry’s successes and the statewide marketing program that has been carefully crafted to shorten the recovery window and restore travel and tourism.  

Together, we have built a strong foundation that will be key to jumpstarting our state’s recovery when the time is right and getting our talented industry employees back to work.  

Click through the sections below of Visit California’s annual report, which demonstrates “Why Travel Matters” for every Californian.
James Bermingham Sig
James Bermingham
Chair, Visit California
Executive Vice President, Operations, Montage International

 

FROM THE CEO | Visit California

$70 billion. That’s the estimated drop in traveler spending facing California’s tourism industry in 2020.

In the aggregate, this is a staggering setback for our industry, one that erases a decade of uninterrupted growth. But the number pales beside the incalculable pain afflicting our communities, their businesses and residents: the pain of turning away loyal guests, of laying off hardworking employees, of shuttering businesses. Visit California has not been excepted from steep operational cuts, which include a 55% reduction in staff.

And no number can capture the frustration of losing so much hard-earned progress to a crisis that is largely beyond our control. This frustration is felt acutely at Visit California, which for nearly three decades has worked hand-in-hand with the industry’s dedicated, visionary leadership to more than double revenues for the state’s tourism businesses.

Despite the unprecedented challenge we now face, it is important to remember our industry’s successes. Together, we have built a strong foundation that will be key to jumpstarting our state’s recovery when the time is right.

With that in mind, I invite you to read and share Visit California’s annual report, which demonstrates “Why Travel Matters” for every Californian.

Though it is hard to overstate the challenges ahead, this snapshot of FY19/20 reinforces that California’s industry-funded and industry-led marketing program continues to be best in class. The Golden State has developed a globally recognized brand through the Dream Big brand platform, with advertising in the U.S. and 14 international markets generating $14.05 billion in incremental visitor spending.

In response to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the organization pivoted to a strategy of boosting consumer confidence and sentiment around California travel with inspirational content and a responsible travel message. These campaigns have been picked up by national media and reached large, receptive audiences through Visit California’s owned channels, particularly the newly refreshed VisitCalifornia.com consumer site. Additionally, the “Road Trip Republic” campaign has become a centerpiece in the organization’s strategy of bridging the loss of international visitors with short-drive tourists until long-haul travel returns.

While recent forecasts indicate that recovery could take as long as five years, there is every indication that together, we can shorten this window and restore travel and tourism. Visit California is deeply thankful of your continued partnership, especially in light of the ongoing challenges facing nearly every business in the state.

Dream Big,
Signature
Caroline Beteta
President & CEO
Visit California

 

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