Aussies have continued to flock to California despite a weaker Australian-dollar, largely supported by an increasingly strong number of air services into the US west coast – and the amazing shopping opportunities, of course.
The biennial Visit California Tourism Roadshow, visiting Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne before heading to Auckland later this week, has brought 34 key players and the biggest PR contingent down under.
With California garnering 45.9% marketshare of Australian visitors over other US States, and as the third largest overseas (long-haul) market, year-on-year increases are forecasted until 2017 to reach an increase of 18.7% in visitation. A whopping 553,000 Aussies travelled to California in 2013, up 5.9% from 2012.
“Australians have such an affinity for California, and we’re focused on building more dedicated Cali products and Cali signature experiences in this market,”
Visit California, International PR, Shannon Brooks told KarryOn at yesterday’s media event in Sydney.
Experiences on wine trails and other road trip options are just two areas in which the tourism board is keen to expand showcasing for new and repeat visitors.
“Aussies are still going to the big cities, but they also like to explore the off-the-beaten track destinations,”Ms Brooks said, referring to an increase in popularity in travelling to the California dessert due to festivals like Coachella.
However, shopping remains as the number one tourist activity for Australian visitors, despite a drop in the Aussie dollar. Spend is still recorded at around US$990 million as a collective group per year.
Representatives attending the Visit California roadshow included Citadel Outlets, Greater Palm Springs CVB, High Sierra Visitor’s Council, InterContinental Los Angeles Century City at Beverly Hills, Los Angeles Tourism, Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sonoma Wine Country, Visit Huntington Beach – Surf City USA, Visit Santa Barbara, Visit West Hollywood, Disneyland Resorts and Visit Napa Valley to name a few.
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