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Visit California to host inaugural India sales mission

From L – Tom Kiely, President & CEO, Visit West Hollywood, Misti Kerns, President & CEO, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, Colleen Bell, Executive Director California Film Commission, Caroline Beteta, President & CEO Visit California, Kathy Janega-Dykes, President & CEO Visit Santa Barbara and Julie Wagner, CEO Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau at the first ever Visit California Sales Mission to India from Jan.13-17 2020.

Visit California will host the organisation’s first Sales Mission to India from January 13–17, 2020, visiting Delhi and Mumbai. The mission delegation, led by Visit California President & 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. 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 travellers, self-drive enthusiasts, and luxury lovers, taking advantage of this excellent opportunity to reinforce California’s position as a premier destination for Indian travellers,” said Beteta.

The delegation will meet with travel agents, tour operators, media and wedding planners on the multi-city mission. The delegates represent 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 travellers from India. In addition to two days of meetings, Visit California will also host VIP networking events in both cities, and a media event in Delhi.

Media present at the Press Conference for Visit California’s first ever Sales Mission to India

The Sales Mission will run in conjunction with a fact-finding mission in Delhi, hosted by California’s Bay Area Council. Both missions will be joined by California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, adding additional diplomatic impact to each delegation’s presence.

In Delhi, Beteta will be joined by the Executive Director of the California Film Commission, Colleen Bell. Beteta and Bell will meet 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.

Visit California executes an always-on marketing and public relations program in India with a range of travel trade and consumer activities throughout the year. 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 per cent to 6 per cent increase in visitation forecasted for the foreseeable future. It is estimated that by2023, Indian visitors will contribute over $1.5 billion to the state’s tourism economy.