Visit California Is Calling All Californians For Now

In a letter to industry partners, Caroline Beteta, president & CEO of Visit California, writes:

“As the green shoots of economic recovery sprout here and across the nation, California’s tourism industry eagerly awaits the chance to meet consumers’ palpable pent-up desires to hit the road.”

Beteta observes that:

“Reopening amid the ongoing coronavirus threat will require dramatic pivots in the way we operate, not only to protect customers and employees, but to guarantee business success. Visit California has embraced that challenge and designed a marketing approach for the coming months that shifts to an in-state focus.”

And she continues:

“In short, we have an opportunity to jump-start our economy by keeping Californians in California. We will continue to reinforce the California brand and inspire people to travel but will aim at a California audience.”

Beteta explains that:

“Phase one asks Californians to support their local businesses as they reopen, and to venture out with day trips, “staycations” or ‘nearcations.’ “Calling All Californians” then will leverage our existing California Road Trip Republic creative work to inspire Californians to rediscover their state to help economic recovery as an act of civic pride. We will ask that they spend their vacation dollars in California and embrace a traveler’s code to move about the state safely and responsibly.”

She says that:

“Farther down the recovery path, “California is Calling” will expand marketing efforts to western region neighbors. And that will meld into the “All Dreams Always Welcome in California” campaign across the United States market. Timing is the primary challenge, of course. The arc of the public health crisis, the government’s corresponding reactions to it and the willingness of consumers to travel remain top considerations. Visit California will monitor a number of other key indicators – lodging and airline bookings, search engine data and product readiness among them – to inform the program’s progression.”

She also makes it clear that:

“We are monitoring national consumer sentiment data and will soon fold in California-specific research to help guide us. We know, for instance, that people will find ways to travel within the limitations of the coronavirus environment if they feel comfortable and safe. You’ve already seen the pent-up demand — at hotels, beaches, parks and trail heads.”

Right now, and going forward, Beteta says that:

“Visit California is working with the Governor’s Office to allow the state’s travel industry to open as quickly and safely as possible. To that end, there have been some positive signs. Because critical health benchmarks were adjusted, nearly every county now qualifies for the latter part of the governor’s Stage 2, which includes the reopening of dine-in restaurants. While the order for residents to stay within county lines still stands, Gov. Newsom said an approach allowing movement within like-minded regions is something to be encouraged.”

But she also points out that:

“Unfortunately, there remains uncertainty around the big questions: When can travelers take leisure trips around the state, and when can hotels book leisure guests without running afoul of the guidelines?”

Beteta adds that:

“One thing is for sure: When we reach that time when leisure travel is safe and permitted, it will be Californians who hit the road, rediscover their state and help our local businesses and communities recover.”

Visit California’s president and CEO concludes:

“As always, thank you for your support and resilience during this time. Be well.”