By 2022, Visitation From India to California is Projected to Reach 476,000

Visit California is all geared up to bring Indian travellers with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019

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VISIT CALIFORNIA and 14 California tourism businesses participated in the seventh annual Brand USA India Mission from 23-28 Sept, 2018, marking their seventh successive year of attendance. The annual mission is an opportunity for leaders from California’s travel and tourism industry to meet a large cross-section of Indian tour operators, travel agents and media executives. This year, the visiting delegation travelled to Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi to engage in a full day of buyer-seller meetings and VIP networking events.

India being California’s top opportunity market has shown strong growth and increasing interest in the Golden State by building lasting relationships that continue an upward trajectory and inspiring Indians to make the trip to California.

In 2017, 333,000 travellers visited California from India, spending $823 million in the state on trip that average 19.6 days. By 2022, visitation from India is projected to reach 476,000, a growth of 43 percent. In addition to the annual Brand USA Mission and India Sales Days, Visit California works with Indian travel trade, media and consumers year-round to build awareness and excitement for California as a travel destination.

The destination marketing organisation offers many content-rich tools and resources including a localized consumer website, a new online Media Center (media.visitcalifornia.in) with India-focused content and an online training platform for travel agents called California STAR with localized content and training programs.

Anette Kaiser-Rott, Director of Europe & India Marketing, Visit California said, “In FY 2017/18, Visit California is investing more than $800,000 in the market for a Visit California agency presence, travel trade, public relations and partnership programs. Much of the focus will be on working with the travel trade to continuously educate and develop the California product via familiarization trips, missions, co-ops and our exclusive STAR training program.”

She also highlighted the fact that direct airlift into India from California has been introduced this year in June. “Air India now flies nine flights weekly under 16 hours and this has benefitted from increased capacity over the last year.”

With the current projections for 16.6 percent rise in India visitation, she says that there has been an increasing demand for luxury inspired experiences. “By 2020 the projections show a nearly 46% increase in Indian visitors, totalling 465,000. Thus, making California a special destination for MICE and leisure.”

At its core, California is a land of abundance and opportunity – where business and leisure visitors alike can experience life to the fullest. The spirit and sense of limitless possibility draws people here as much as the magnificent beaches, mountains, cities and deserts that make up the diverse playground of the state.

Another biggest attraction would be the opening of two new ‘Star Wars’-themed areas, one at Disneyland and the other at Walt Disney World Resort in 2019. ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’ will first open in Anaheim, California, during the summer of 2019 and then at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida, in late fall 2019. 

Visit California also formalised an MOU with the Producers Guild of India last year during the mission. As two major hubs of entertainment production, Visit California and the Producers Guild of India see this co-operative agreement as one which can further increase the understanding of each other’s film production markets, promote tourism from India and increase mutual cultural understanding. “We are bringing Indian Bollywood producers next month to California to show interesting sights to encourage major productions to be filmed in California,” she informed.


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