In unsettled times, whether it’s in business or on a personal level, sometimes the best way to calm things down is to reach out to your colleagues and friends for some reassurance.
And that’s exactly what a late spring visit to Toronto by a staggeringly large and impressively high-powered group of senior California tourism executives was all about.
The message the group had for its key partners in Canada was that despite all of the rhetoric coming out of Washington – not to mention the uncertainty it has created both in the travel and tourism industry and in political circles around the world – California is open for business and is ready to welcome anyone and everyone, reports executive editor, Bob Mowat in the July 10 digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.
“We thought it was a good time to come into this market and just reaffirm our welcoming message under the new campaign we’re doing – California, All Dreams Welcome,” Caroline Beteta, president & CEO of Visit California explained during a conversation with Canadian Travel Press during the group’s Toronto visit. “California has been invested in Canada for years and years and years. It’s an important market for us.”
As for the Trump factor, Beteta said the extent of the impact won’t be known until later in the year, when the state’s tourism industry sits down and takes a look at the actual travel numbers.
“Obviously,” Betata said, “it’s a dynamic and fluid situation that we have to take into consideration – like currency issues and the overall market.”
But right now, she continued: “We’re focused on just reinforcing our message and that’s [that] Californians love Canadians and we want to express our sincerity in terms of rolling out that red carpet and continuing to provide that welcome for all our Canadian friends and families and visitors.”
And the response from the trade here was positive, with Beteta telling CTP: “We’ve had incredible feedback. And, you know, it’s authentic feedback – we have common cultures, experiences, friends, families, foundation.”
She also pointed out that California is “so far away from our policy makers [in Washington, DC] out on the West Coast that I think people recognize that we kind of just do life differently and approach life differently and that resonates with our friends here in Canada because it’s a similar outlook on life, let’s say.”
Along with Beteta, CTP had a chance to sit down with five of the state’s top tourism executives and get their assessment of the situation.
To find out what they had to say, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press .