Delegates from more than 18 Destination and Tourism Industry Partners represented in the event.
Visit California hosted the organization’s first Sales Mission to India from Jan. 13–17, 2020, visiting Delhi and Mumbai. The mission delegation, led by Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta, includes California destination CEOs and senior travel executives from the state’s leading destinations, tourist attractions and hotels. The mission marks the tenth anniversary of Visit California’s marketing activity in India.
“Visit California has identified India as its top opportunity market for visitation growth,” said Ms. Beteta. “The delegates on this Sales Mission are eager to meet with their Indian counterparts, to create and grow relationships that make it easier for Indian visitors to come to California. We are tapping into various segments including Millennial travelers, self-drive enthusiasts, and luxury lovers, taking advantage of this excellent opportunity to reinforce California’s position as a premier destination for Indian travelers.”
The California Sales Mission Delegates were:
- Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau
- Citadel Outlets
- Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Hilton Hotels of San Francisco Union Square
- Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
- Los Angeles Tourism& Convention Board
- Mono County Tourism
- Pier 39
- Red and White Fleet
- Roaring Camp Railroads
- San Diego Zoo/ San Diego Zoo Safari Park
- San Francisco Travel Association
- Santa Monica Travel & Tourism
- Simon Shopping Destinations
- Universal Studios Hollywood
- Visit Santa Barbara
- Visit West Hollywood
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood
The delegation met travel agents, tour operators, media and wedding planners on the multi-city mission. The delegates represented a variety of California’s family attractions, culinary experiences, outdoor adventure and signature laid-back luxury offerings, illustrating why the Golden State is one of the most preferred holiday destinations for upmarket travelers from India. In addition to two days of meetings, Visit California also hosted VIP networking events in both cities, and a media event in Delhi.
The Sales Mission ran in conjunction with a fact-finding mission in Delhi, hosted by California’s Bay Area Council. Both missions was joined by California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, adding additional diplomatic impact to each delegation’s presence.
In Delhi, Beteta was joined by the Executive Director of the California Film Commission, Colleen Bell. Beteta and Bell aims to meet and build collaboration with the Film Producers Guild of India to unveil the “California Incentive Collection,” a set of offerings and incentives from California destinations and the California Film Commission. Offers will be available to the Guild, as well as other film, television and content production houses from India to encourage increased entertainment production in California.
The mission will provide Visit California’s partners with an opportunity to strengthen existing partnerships and develop new relationships in the market.
The Indian market is critically important to California tourism. In 2018, 353,000 Indian travelers visited California, spending $1.1 billion in the state, with an average stay of 23.5 days. Current projections show an annual 5% to 6% of increase in visitation forecasted for the foreseeable future. It is estimated that by 2023, Indian visitors will contribute over $1.5 billion to the state’s tourism economy.