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Gold Pass

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Visit California's Gold Pass is a program designed to help destination and local business partners collaborate in bringing domestic and international journalists to the Golden State. Carefully arranged media FAMs by Visit California and its partners result in incremental editorial coverage that aligns with destination brand traits, broadens a targeted consumer’s awareness of California travel offerings, and drives trip consideration.

What is the Gold Pass Program?
There is no substitute for the resulting coverage after a journalist experiences California firsthand. With this in mind, Visit California created the Gold Pass program to help our partners bring more media to their destination or business every year by covering airfare and ground transportation. For in-state media who may not require airfare for a press trip, Visit California is open to supporting hosting efforts by covering meal stipends (reimbursable with receipts) in addition to either a rental car or mileage. There are a limited number of Gold Passes awarded each year.

Required Qualifications

  • Partners must confirm that media have:
    • a confirmed assignment
    • recent editorial placements
    • a sustained relationship with a "most wanted" media outlet as identified by Visit California (or)
    • be a targeted digital influencer.
  • For international support, media must be from one of Visit California’s target 13 international markets.
  • The proposed itinerary for the visiting journalist or influencer must incorporate at least three DMO areas and generate editorial coverage for each area visited. 

Other considerations made by Visit California when awarding Gold Passes include:

  • Number of previously approved applications by submitting DMO(s) or business(es), due to the limited number of Gold Passes available each year.
  • Incorporation of destination and local business partners outside of California’s gateway cities in proposed itineraries. 

A full list of guidelines and restrictions can be found here. The Gold Pass Program is an industry-led program meant to be submitted by industry members, not media. If you are a member of the media and are interested in visiting California, please complete our Press Trip Request Form

For more information, contact Visit California Domestic Public Relations Manager Kristen Bonilla.

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