California fosters online travel community

SACRAMENTO, CA: The California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC) launched its California Fives online community to promote the diversity of the state's attractions and increase travel through social media and user-generated content.

SACRAMENTO, CA: The California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC) launched its "California Fives" online community to promote the diversity of the state's attractions and increase travel through social media and user-generated content. The effort is an extension of its “Inside Scoop” campaign on www.VisitCalifornia.com.

“I think we know that consumers more and more are going online to plan their vacations. CA has such a depth and breadth of product,” said Susan Wilcox, VP of communications at CTTC. “We've been doing national outreach for the last five years. This is just another layer that develops a sense of community online.”

The group, working with its new AOR Development Counsellors International, tapped California natives and celebrities to provide tips on topics like wine and food, activities, and destinations. For example, Surfrider Foundation CEO Jim Moriarty will name his top five places for beginner surfing, and San Francisco-based The Slanted Door's Charles Phan will list his five favorite open markets.

The team will also add tips from Governor Schwarzenegger on a daily basis, and task travelers and natives to add content.

“People are now looking for value and tips from people in their peer group or celebrities whom they believe in,” said Wilcox. “We hope to create an online community of ambassadors to promote the state.”

Tactics include outreach to consumer travel groups, social media groups, and trade and consumer publications, as well as Facebook and Twitter updates. CTTC also plans to launch a fall print and digital ad campaign to support the online effort.

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