California CEO Mission: Attract tourists from India
California has mounted a campaign to promote travel from India, and as part of this effort for the first time, a CEO mission took place in Delhi and Mumbai organized by Visit California. Ten CEOs interacted with travel and tourism stakeholders, including leaders from the film industry who wanted to explore collaboration in film shooting in the country. Cinematic tourism has literally put Bollywood on the travel map.
The mission was led by Caroline Beteta, Visit California President and CEO, who emphasized the importance of the Indian market. In 2016, 31,9000 visitors spent US$706 million, and it is forecast that over the next 5 years, that visitor number will rise to 449,000.
Joe Terzi, President and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority, told this correspondent that they were also targeting younger travelers, promoting the city’s famous zoo and theme parks, including the popular Legoland.
With better connectivity, the current 90,000 arrivals from India could grow by 20 percent, he said, adding that culinary attractions with Mexican flavors are also a big draw for Indian tourists.
Scott White, President and CEO of the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, highlighted the luxurious, laidback, celebrity status of the Palm Springs area. He said the Formula 1 race, 100 golf courses, film festivals, musical events, and luxury hotels were some of the reasons to visit Palm Springs.
Other CEOs promoting their areas of California and eyeing the Indian market came from Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Napa Valley, Santa Barbara, and Ridgemont Hospitality.