California Dreaming


Flush with a new marketing budget that will exceed $100 million for international markets, California is “doubling down” on the trade in Canada, said Visit California president and CEO Carolyn Beteta at IPW in Orlando Tuesday morning.

“Canada is a great opportunity market for us,” Beteta told PressToday correspondent Mike Baginski, adding, “Given its proximity, Canada is a tier one market [for California tourism]. We give it a lot of attention.”

Beteta cited cost efficiency and ease of travel for Canadians visiting the state, as well as “seasonal effects” (i.e. the cold winter) as key factors in the state’s popularity here. Indeed, excluding neighbouring Mexico, Canada is the state’s top international market with 1.6 million visitors annually who spend US$2.3 billion.

Overall, California welcomed 241 million visitors in 2014 on its way to its goal of reaching 300 million visitors. Canada will benefit from increased advertising, including being part of an extensive global digital campaign, and sales missions (one just finished up in Toronto in early May), with Beteta adding, “We’re really looking a shoring up our trade relationships there…”