In 2016, Visit California set out with a mission of positioning California as a premier, global luxury destination. That strategy, developed by an industry task force, targeted luxury trade entities such as ILTM and Virtuoso, among others.
Fast forward to August 2017 and Visit California has put the Golden State on the proverbial luxury map with the travel trade. A year and half into the organization's partnership with Virtuoso, California is recognized as a top luxury destination, firmly establishing itself within luxury circles.
As a luxury consortia of global travel agencies, Virtuoso generates $5.1 billion annually in travel sales, making it the most powerful group in the luxury travel segment. Virtuoso's annual Travel Week in Las Vegas is the centerpiece to what many consider the ultimate luxury travel advisor conference. Over 2,700 luxury travel agents from around the world descended upon Las Vegas for days filled with educational seminars and over 327,000 total appointments with affluent accommodations, destinations and suppliers.
Visit California was well-positioned at this year's Travel Week. As an Opal Sponsor, California had enhanced exposure, which consisted of a 60-second spot in the hotel rooms of all Travel Week attendees; a one-page advertisement in the official Travel Week magazine; over 300 appointments with advisors; and an official Virtuoso private reception.
Not only were the educational components enlightening, but Visit California also saw tremendous value promoting the new California STAR program to luxury advisors.
Virtuoso recognized Visit California's commitment to the luxury network and awarded the Golden State DMO the "Most Globally Engaged Tourist Board" of the year. At the official private reception, Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta hosted the most-valued luxury advisors and agency owners for a California-themed evening that included an up-and-coming Los Angeles jazz guitarist, Ish Perez, and a Napa Valley sommelier from Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Conner Burns.
Virtuoso represents an important partnership for not only Visit California, but for the nearly 70 California luxury accommodations and four Golden State destinations including Discover Los Angeles, Visit Napa Valley, Greater Palm Springs CVB and Visit West Hollywood. Visit California is committed to the Virtuoso partnership and will be returning to Travel Week in 2018.