Visit California and the largest delegation to date brought the Golden State’s trademark summer sunshine across the Atlantic for the U.K. and Ireland 2017 Sales and Media mission this July.
From July 10-14, a high-level delegation of thirty-six industry leaders joined the Visit California team to spread the California Dream in one of the state’s top international markets with events in London, Dublin, Glasgow, and Manchester. The annual journey included parallel trade and media tracks, during which Visit California detailed key partnerships and activations, while delegates showcased some of the best of the state’s offerings with training seminars and a platform to connect with wholesalers, retailers, airlines and commercial partners.
The United Kingdom and Ireland constitute California’s No. 2 overseas market and the biggest in Europe. More than 841,000 visitors traveled to California in 2016 on an average of 131 weekly flights. Hailing from long-haul destinations, U.K. travelers spend an average of $1,361 per trip and stay an average of 10 nights, and opportunities to engage with the luxury and family audience segments are particularly resonant in the market.
The mission served as a special opportunity to connect with U.K. and Irish tourism influencers. Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta kicked off the festivities by welcoming the delegation to London. Visit California highlighted the impact of tourism on the California economy, shared “All Dreams Welcome” activations as well as giving a status update of Highway 1. The U.K. team update touched upon Visit California’s 10-year partnership with British Airways, the upcoming family music festival “Camp Bestival,” and future PR activities.
Visit California then welcomed 23 product managers from a spectrum of tour operators across the south of England, including representatives from BA Holidays, Kuoni, Flight Centre and more. Following the meetings, a VIP event was held at The Design Museum in London to experience the highly acclaimed Designed in California exhibit, part of a recent partnership with Visit California. Picking up the story in the 1960s, the exhibition charts the journey from the counterculture movement to Silicon Valley’s tech mecca. Celeste Bright, partnerships director at the museum, and Beteta both spoke, and attendees got a firsthand look at how the state continues to be a haven for innovation and creativity.
This year, the mission included a specific Irish market overview, with a particular focus on the Irish media and trade landscape via an Irish Industry Panel Discussion held at the Teeling Distillery in Dublin, where expert panelists shared insights into the Irish market. Panelists included leaders from the Irish Times, Tour America, Aer Lingus and Platinum Travel. An evening event hosted by TravelMedia.ie and Aer Lingus and a brunch media and trade event the next day rounded out the Ireland portion of the trip as the PR track made its way to Scotland.
Glasgow offered PR delegates key networking time with regional media contacts, followed by an intimate dinner was at the renowned The Bothy restaurant, with guests enjoying wine from Napa Valley and Sonoma County. The next morning, a tour of Glasgow University was given as well as a visit to the bustling city center.
In Manchester, over 30 travel agents were in attendance at The Whitworth Gallery to learn about the Golden State and enjoy California-inspired cuisine to accompany their meetings. And of course, a stop to Manchester would not be complete without a visit to Old Trafford – home of Manchester United, the most decorated soccer team in England – where the delegation was joined by product and marketing representatives from select tour operators from the luxury, B2B and tailor-made sectors.
U.K. craft beer club Beer52 hosted an evening to celebrate the California craft beer scene and the brew club’s recent partnership with Visit California. More than 250 club members turned out for a tasting flight from Firestone Brewery in Paso Robles, along with food from the quintessentially Californian Lords of Poke food truck, before being treated to a sneak peek of the upcoming “Christmas in California” Beer 52 take over, due out later this year.
The final day of the mission saw the delegation descend on one of London’s most iconic and historic landmarks for a day of travel agent training at the infamous Tower of London. The 39 travel industry attendees represented myriad organizations across the country, including U.S. Airtours, Turquoise Holidays, and a particularly strong contingent from Travel Counsellors.
Overall, 64 media representatives from the genres of print, digital and broadcast media, as well as 180 travel trade representatives from tour operators and travel agencies interacted with 36 California partners by deepening relationships and fostering new connections in the critically important U.K. & Irish markets.
Each year, these missions further broaden California’s global footprint, and moreover, delegates were thrilled to showcase the Golden State and reinforce California as one of the top global destinations for travelers from the U.K. and Ireland.
This comment is awaiting moderation.
Excellent read, I just passed this onto a assignment-help-sydney.com colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!
9/1/2015 0 Comments
As the harvest approaches in September, California will once again raise a glass to its diverse wine regions, including 4,400 wineries statewide.
12/9/2014 0 Comments
Whether we have conceptualized the perfect campaign and are looking for that home run media placement, or a journalist is in need of expertise that we can provide, we cer...
12/8/2014 0 Comments
California Restaurant Month promotes the state's amazing culinary destinations while also providing destination partners with the tools to help make their local culinary ...