LOS ANGELES: Responding to steep declines in visitors since
September 11, the California Division of Tourism is launching a $5 million marketing and PR campaign to induce its own residents to
travel within the state.
The program was announced by Gov. Gray Davis last Saturday at San
Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, where attendance has dropped by more than
50% in recent weeks. Davis said it was an act of "modern-day patriotism"
to add money to the economy through travel.
Of the 300 million people who traveled for business or leisure in
California last year, 245 million were state residents. Tourism
officials hope to reverse the slump by refocusing campaigns to target
that "drive market" group with destination ideas and incentives. The
surrounding states of Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon will also be
PR initiatives aimed both at consumers and the industry will expand on
the state's existing campaign, and use its "California: Find yourself
here" tagline. Currently, the state spends about $600,000
annually on PR for that effort.
The state will also look for private-industry partners for special
promotions at hotels and attractions.
Tourism accounts for 6% of the gross state product, or about $75
billion in 2000. The industry also provides more than one million jobs.