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Summer Marketing Programs Promote Responsible Travel

By Adam Miller 08/14/2020

While Californians are again beginning to venture out to local businesses and plan short vacations as sentiment improves, it remains the case that 48% of consumers do not yet fell confident traveling. Visit California has made it a goal to boost the percent of Californians who feel safe to 60%. To this end, Visit California has rolled out summer marketing campaigns and industry partner opportunities to cultivate a travel environment that inspires traveler confidence and helps businesses plan around more predictable tourist behavior. 

Responsible Travel Code Update 
California tourism businesses and DMOs are encouraging safe and respectful by sharing the Responsible Travel Code and related resources with their guests and communities. Given the wildly varying information around COVID-19 and travel safety broadly, tourists are more likely to visit — and do so safely and respectfully — when they are receiving a single, clear set of guidelines from all tourism organizations.

Visit California Responsible Travel Code

Visit California's PR team has had tremendous success earning media pickup with the Responsible Travel Code. To date, more than 80 placements have reached 186 million people, including the New York Times’ California Today newsletter. This exposure is helping normalize safe travel during the pandemic. 

In-State Marketing and Road Trips
Visit California has released the latest edition of its annual “California Road Trips: Your Ultimate Planning Guide.” This month, the print edition will be distributed to in-state and western drive markets. It will be included in summer issues of Parents, Better Homes & Gardens and Travel + Leisure, reaching more than 600,000 households.

California Road Trips Guide 2020 Cover

The California now blog features two new content series to help with trip planning during the pandemic, particularly in-state residents. The eight articles in the “What You Need to Know” series reinforce safe travel practices and provide essential information across key industry segments. The “So You Think You Know” articles promote hidden gems in 11 different destinations and are crafted to encourage Californians to fully explore their own backyards before venturing further afield. The series are performing well, having already received more than 22,000 page views.

Inspirational Marketing
Visit California’s “See You Soon” digital video series (newsroom link) continues to perform exceptionally well, reaching millions of Californians with high engagement across our social channels and a 73%-plus favorability rating. The linked article offers examples of the engagement this series is receiving — it leaves no doubt people are poised to return to their favorite California destinations.

See You Soon Bay Area social engagement

Partnerships and Co-Ops
The Visit California team has leveraged existing partners such as Expedia, Virtuoso, Connections, Culture Trips and MasterCard to extend our reach and build our domestic network. The work has included 11 webinars and a Visit California Trade newsletter educating 750 travel advisors about the California product.

Partnerships should visit Visit California’s Partner Opportunities hub for the latest and upcoming co-op opportunities. Many  offer research and marketing at zero cost or steeply reduced cost. The hub was just updated, so it’s a good time to revisit what’s available. 

Earned Media
Between March 20, when the pandemic began to shut down businesses across the state, and July 31, Visit California has kept California’s travel industry in the news, earning hundreds of placements with a reach of 2.2 billion impressions across broadcast, print and digital networks. Some of these pieces celebrated the huge economic impact of the industry while acknowledging what has been lost in visitor spending, employment and tax generation. The lion’s share of the coverage focused on armchair travel and future travel, recovery and reopening and the California Responsible Travel Code.

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