Are foreign visitors getting squeamish about visiting California?
The political climate in Washington is rattling nerves in the state’s tourism industry, so much so industry groups are enlisting marketing campaigns to rev up international interest.
So far, Visit California has set aside $1 million taken from its reserve funds to market the state at international visitors. The money, the industry group said, is being used in an “All Dreams Welcome” marketing campaign. Los Angeles and Orange counties have similar campaigns underway.
“We create desire for the California experience,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, during a tourism conference last Wednesday.
Locally, some 4.4 million international tourists visited Orange County in 2016. These visitors spend more money than others, partially because they stay longer and spend more as they shop here.
Overall, 48.2 million tourists came to the county, up 2 percent from the year before, and contributed $12.1 billion to the local economy, up 6.8 percent from 2015. The industry is responsible for 164,000 jobs.
Orange County’s tourism association also is taking steps to encourage its residents to make international tourists feel welcome with its “Welcoming Global Visitors” initiative. The group declined to say what the campaign might be costing.
“Some of our international guests are not feeling that warmth. We’re taking steps to make them feel welcome in Orange County,” Orange County Visitors Association President and CEO Ed Fuller said.
The “Welcoming Global Visitors” initiative has produced educational videos “aimed at enhancing cultural sensitivity toward Chinese and Middle Eastern guests” and is trying to raise awareness on how big a role tourism plays in Orange County’s economy.
The group continues to work with Middle Eastern markets.
Jay Burress, OCVA Board chairman and Visit Anaheim president and CEO, said there is no way yet to track if fewer tourists are coming here but said Little Arabia restaurants in Anaheim have seen business drop off.
“We know people are concerned,” he said.
Hotel industry update
The ninth annual Orange County Tourism Conference also discussed the hotel boom in Orange County.
There are currently 2,188 rooms under construction and 14 hotels scheduled to open by the end of 2018, according to data presented by Bruce Baltin, managing director at CBRE Hotels Consulting.
According to Adam Sacks, president and founder of Tourism Economics, this bodes well for Orange County.
“The market is much more stable than other high-growth markets,” he said.
He added that there are not enough hotels in desirable markets around the time of busy events.
Baltin added that the four-diamond hotels being built near the Anaheim Convention Center will bring in high-end conventions.
But don’t expect prices at other hotels to go down anytime soon.
Once hotels lower rates, it’s hard for them to raise them again, so it’s unlikely that hotels will lower their rates, he said.
Read more about California’s tourism industry puts out international welcome mat This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Mission Viejo Paper Shredding Company
Powered by WPeMatico