Key Takeaways from Visit California’s Outlook Forum

This February, team members of SMTT attended the the Visit California Outlook Forum 2019, which gathered more than 600 of the top California tourism professionals for two days of industry updates from an unparalleled lineup of 40 speakers. Session topics included crisis planning, sustainable tourism, international market updates and more.

Here are some highlights:

Domestic

  • 3% GDP for U.S. economy
  • Strong employment
  • Some acceleration in wage growth
  • High consumer confidence
  • Domestic spending growth will outpace international in 2018

International

  • World GDP reached its highest level in 7 years in 2018 (3.1%) and is expected to ease slowly downward.
  • Solid macroeconomic conditions in most major source market economies
  • Weaker dollar supports international inbound travel
  • International spending growth will outpace domestic through 2022
  • Top 5 countries with an average annual growth expected from 2019 through 2022:
    • China
    • India
    • South Korea
    • Brazil
    • Middle East

International Market Updates (for California)

Here are quick facts and figures shared at the Outlook Forum. For an update on how Visit California’s revamped global strategy will shape its international efforts throughout 2020, click here.

  • Australia
    • Total Population: 24.9 Million
    • Visitors to CA (2018): 614,000
    • Visitor Spending (2018): $963 Million
    • Average Length of Stay 8 nights
    • 2022 Visitation Forecast: 661,000
    • Visit CA Investment: $3.6 Million
  • Brazil
    • Total Population: 210.8 Million
    • Visitors to CA (2018): 211,000
    • Visitor Spending (2018): $388 Million
    • Average Length of Stay 12.7 nights
    • 2022 Visitation Forecast: 249,000
      Visit CA Investment: $1 Million
  • China
    • Total Population: 1.4 Billion
    • Visitors to CA (2018): 1,601,000
    • Visitor Spending (2018): $3.407 Billion
    • Average Length of Stay 13.6 nights
    • 2022 Visitation Forecast: 2,112,000
    • Visit CA Investment: $10.8 Million
  • France
    • Total Population: 65.2 Million
    • Visitors to CA (2018): 473,000
    • Visitor Spending (2018): $926 Million
    • Average Length of Stay 9.5 nights
    • 2022 Visitation Forecast: 519,000
    • Visit CA Investment: $1 Million
  • Germany
    • Total Population: 82.2 Million
    • Visitors to CA (2018): 407,000
    • Visitor Spending (2018): $714 Million
    • Average Length of Stay 8.7 nights
    • 2022 Visitation Forecast: 437,000
    • Visit CA Investment: $900,000
  • India
    • Total Population 1.3 Billion
    • Visitors to CA (2018): 352,000
    • Visitor Spending (2018): $788 Million
    • Average Length of Stay 22.6 nights
    • 2022 Visitation Forecast: 443,000
    • Visit CA Investment: $850,000
  • United Kingdom
    • Total Population 66.5 Million
    • Visitors to CA (2018): 746,000
    • Visitor Spending (2018): $1.096 Billion
    • Average Length of Stay 11.1 nights
    • 2022 Visitation Forecast: 812,000
    • Visit CA Investment: $4.7 Million
  • Canada
    • Total Population: 37.1 Million
    • Visitors to CA (2018): 1,723,000
    • Visitor Spending (2018): $2.266 Million
    • Average Length of Stay 10.5 nights
    • 2022 Visitation Forecast: 1,935,000
    • Visit CA Investment: $3.9 Million

Six California Megatrends According to Skift

  • Brands Give Travelers More Control Over Their Experience
  • Undertourism Is The New Overtourism
  • Wellness Is The New Hook In Travel Marketing
  • Travel Loyalty Is Overdue For Disruption
  • Real-World Experiences Gain Value In An Era of Tech Burnout
  • The Chinese Traveler Has Evolved

Sustainable Tourism

  • Ecotourism is always about experiencing nature; sustainable tourism is about the entire tourism industry from urban centers to countryside retreats.
  • The pillars of sustainable tourism:
    • Environmentally-friendly practices
    • Protection of Nature
    • Celebrating Cultural Heritage
    • Support the social and economic well-being of local communities
    • Educating guests
  • 57% of American adults with incomes that exceed $150k annually are more likely to book a sustainable tourism vacation
  • 70% of adult travelers in the USA prefer companies committed to preserving the natural environment

Perennials

Information about a new generational profile was identified and shared with attendees- The Perennials (Millennial parents)…

  • Perennials make up 90% of new parents; more than 16 million, and growing by 1 million women per year
  • Perennials want:
    • To Maximize their 20 Hours
      • Spend more time together
      • Enjoy more experiences together
      • Eat healthier together
    • Homes That Are Cozy Treats
      • Perennials invest an average of $26,200 in their homes
    • To Align With “Woke” Brands
      • Must reflect our diverse culture and the different configurations of family
    • Food All the Time, All the Ways
      • 60 % of families with young children have dinner together most days
      • 40% of kids don’t eat the same dinner that their parents do
    • Nutrition Know-How
      • Interested in how CPG companies are improving packaged foods and making it easier to feed their family healthfully
    • Tracking and Voice-Activated Everything
      • Devices are a positive part of their world
      • Some babies even have a social media presence the minute they are born
    • Someone To Solve Sleep
      • Sleep is the latest status symbol, and Perennials want it
    • Smart, On-Trend Beauty
      • They are label readers in the beauty isle
      • They look for “trigger: ingredients they want to avoid
    • Health Stories Unique To Their Life Stage
      • They view health from a lifestyle perspective and dabble in different health trends that make them feel and look good.
    • Happily Ever After
    • Travel That Enriches And Bonds
      • Instagram-worthy experiences. The quirkier, flashier and more offbeat, the better
      • Vacations that are edu-cations
      • They will pay for the right experiences and technology

Crisis Planning Tips for California Destinations

The State Tourism Bureaus of Oregon and Washington shared their best practice learnings after partnering to address the tourism, economic and destination perception impacts of the wildfires.

  • Types of Crisis: Known issues that become crises
    • Political
    • Elections
    • Public Policy
    • Humanitarian
    • Funding Challenges
    • Tourism Industry Sustainability
    • Street Scene
  • The New Normal: DMOs Must Take Responsibility Beyond Usual Roles
    • Travel advisory
    • Emergency Housing
    • Public Information
    • Key role in Emergency Operations Centers
    • Business recovery
  • Lesson Learned
    • Cultivate coalitions in advance
    • Open communication channels and relationships before you need them
    • Be ready for anything
    • Create a culture of preparedness for your staff and industry stakeholders
    • Business recovery is the responsibility of DMOs and business. Have a plan and fund ready.
  • Proactive Collaboration
    • Although not a crisis, the two Tourism Bureaus shared an example of proactively working together in anticipation of the visitors coming to witness the solar eclipse.
      • What helped make the eclipse a successful event?
        • Broad collaboration
        • Planning ahead
        • Depending on the experts
        • Aligned messaging
        • Ensuring a common goal

How to Work with SMTT

Want to improve your tourism business? Santa Monica Travel & Tourism can assist to increase your tourism revenues through a number of marketing, advertising (Official Visitors Guide, Official Map) public relations and sales opportunities.

For more information, please find contacts for each department below or visit Santa Monica Travel & Tourism’s Business Opportunities page.

Marketing & Interactive:
Kim Sidoriak, Chief Marketing Officer
ksidoriak@santamonica.com
310-319-6263

Public & Community Relations:
Lauren Salisbury, Public Relations Manager
lsalisbury@santamonica.com
310-319-6263

Partnership Opportunities:
Visit santamonica.com/partnership-opportunities for more information