Hawaii/Brussels- From the Pacific Ocean to canyon national parks, from the hills of San Francisco to the bustle of Los Angeles, from happy San Diego to glitzy Hollywood, when you think California, you think of vacations and adventures. In the world of tourism, California is one of the greatest and most renowned global destinations on Earth.
“We’re extremely thrilled to welcome Visit California as a new destination alliance to ICTP [International Council of Tourism Parnters], said Juergen Thomas Steinmetz, Chairman of ICTP, “This is an important commitment for the Golden State and for the general growth of their tourism industry. California leads the world with many examples of their various programs for environmental protection and the importance the state gives to tourism.”
Visit California was formed in 1998 to work jointly with the State of California’s Division of Tourism to implement the annual Marketing Plan, which promotes California as a travel destination. While these two partners (Visit California and Division of Tourism) are separate legal entities, they are commonly referred to jointly as California Tourism.
Jonelle Tannahill, Director of Industry Relations of VisitCalifornia, said: “We are honored to be a part of ICTP’s prestigious list of partners who care about green tourism. California has long been known as a leader in conservation and sustainable practices. We have some of the most progressive green destinations and state parks conservation programs in the US and one of the most widely -adopted sustainable winegrowing programs in the world. We’re known as the American leader of the organic and slow food movements and a pioneer in alternative energy.
“In 2010, we developed a California Sustainable Tourism Summit where we gathered like-minded partners to look at how we can market to a growing number of eco-conscious consumers. This summit helped businesses do just that, with workshops, marketplace opportunities and the release of our new California Sustainable Tourism Marketing Handbook, which may be found at http://industry.visitcalifornia.com/green/ .”
Visit California’s mission is to develop and maintain marketing programs - in partnership with the state’s travel industry - that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. California is currently the number one travel destination in the country. Tourism is California’s fourth largest employer and fifth largest contributor to the gross state product. In 2010, travel and tourism expenditures totaled US$95.1 billion annually in California, supported jobs for 873,000 Californians, and generated US$6.1 billion in state and local tax revenues.
ICTP’s President, Geoffrey Lipman, said: “California has a unique vision of sustainable parks, cities, and lifestyles, as well as top tourism attractions. We are very proud to have them join ICTP.”