California Targets Families, Tourists From China In Marketing Campaign

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – California tourism officials are already upbeat about the number of visitors who head for the Golden State. As it stands, California has the world’s tenth largest travel economy.

“Tourism accounts for over $102 billion to California,” said Lynn Carpenter, Vice President of Marketing for California’s Tourist Bureau, who says that translates into about 900,000 jobs.

Still, more is better – and that’s why California’s Tourist Bureau is planning some additional campaigns to attract even more tourists.

Among the new initiatives is a $1 million campaign directed at would-be visitors from China. China, according to Carpenter, is on the Bureau’s radar screen because tourism in the state, from the Chinese, has been showing promise – and growth.

“They have gone from our seventh largest economy, when we first started to invest in that market in 2007, to our number one today,” she explained. “And those numbers are going to continue to increase.”

Much of the campaign will be based on social media initiatives.

“Many, many Chinese are incredibly connected via social media,” Carpenter said. “They rely on it as a very important means of information and we’re going to use that to our advantage.”

A delegation from California will also travel to China, in April.

Closer to home, television adds are going to start running in the U.S. to attract more American families to California. That campaign has been dubbed Kids at Play.

“The concept of the advertising, which we’ll launch, is really about kids putting away their digital items, getting away from their computers, and coming out to play,” said Carpenter.

The commercials will highlight such attractions as Disneyland, San Diego Zoo and California Academy of Sciences.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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