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Tourism Officials Call for Unified Messaging

San Francisco Travel President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro and Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, discuss “President Trump & Tourism: What San Francisco and California are Doing to Address Current Events,” at the San Francisco Travel Association’s Marketing Conference

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March 3, 2017 – “We are strongest when we align and amplify our messaging.”

That was the key point presented by San Francisco Travel President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro and Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, during a panel discussing “President Trump & Tourism: What San Francisco and California are Doing to Address Current Events,” at the San Francisco Travel Association’s Marketing Conference today at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco.

Actions by the new administration, such as the now-suspended Executive Order on Immigration, have created negative reactions in key international markets that may affect future travel decisions and impact the tourism industry in San Francisco and California.

“We don’t want to overreact or get political but when we see polls that indicate people in places like Australia, Mexico, Canada or the United Kingdom may be rethinking their travel plans to visit, we get concerned,” D’Alessandro said.

In response, both San Francisco Travel and Visit California are reinforcing their brand platforms, emphasizing the welcoming nature that is “baked into our DNA,” as Beteta described it.

“The 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love in San Francisco is perfect for this time,” D’Alessandro said.  “What happened here in 1967 continues to shape who we are as a city and a destination – open, inclusive and welcoming."

“We have taken that theme to the media and travel trade in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg and will continue to showcase the message in other key markets.  The response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

For the traveler, San Francisco Travel has developed www.summeroflove2017.com as a guide to experiencing the spirit in 2017 and anytime.

May 13, 2017, will be the 50th anniversary of the song, “San Francisco (Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” and San Francisco Travel is organizing “Flowers in Your Hair Day” at San Francisco International Airport, the Visitor Information Center, the California Welcome Center at PIER 39 and at selected airports with flights “going to San Francisco.”

San Francisco Travel is developing new content for its main website, www.sftravel.com, to showcase the impact of immigrants, in the past and today.  Articles will include famous brands launched by immigrants (such as Levi Strauss) and interviews with immigrants in the “How I See SF” series.

“It’s impossible to predict what will happen next but we all need to be flexible and dynamic,” he said.  “'Welcome' and 'Love' are very powerful concepts.  We are much stronger when we all take this messaging to the marketplace together.:

Visit California is communicating the theme “All Dreams Welcome” (#AllDreamsWelcome) through digital, social and earned media, aligning with their $70 million global "Dream Big" campaign.

San Francisco Travel expects to welcome 2.9 million international visitors, an increase of 0.3 percent over 2016.  International visitors should comprise 27.5 percent of all overnight visitors and 11.3 percent of visitors in total.   They are projected to spend $4.9 billion, up two percent over $4.8 billion in 2016, and are expected to account for 53.1 percent of all visitor spending and 61.2 percent of all overnight visitor spending in 2017. 

Other topics presented at the conference, which was attended by more than 200 people, included:
•       San Francisco’s Domestic and International Traveler Perception Study
•       50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love
•       Final Tourism Impact Numbers from 2016 / Tourism Visit and Spending Forecast for 2017/2018
•       Get Ready for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018
•       Global Marketing Campaign for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018
•       Brand Partnership, Brand USA/San Francisco Travel
•       Tourism Highlights for 2017-2018
•       San Francisco International Airport Priorities for 2017
•       Global Marketing Programs for 2017-2018
•       Hotel Forecast Update for 2017
•       Self-Contained Sales Highlights for 2017-2018
•       Social Media and New Platforms
•       Leveraging Your San Francisco Travel Partnership for Maximum ROI

Speakers’ notes will be made available to conference attendees.

The San Francisco Travel Association is a private, not-for-profit organization that markets the city as a leisure, convention and business travel destination.  With more than 1,300 partner businesses, San Francisco Travel is one of the largest membership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country.

The San Francisco Travel business offices are located at One Front St., Suite 2900, San Francisco, CA 94111.

San Francisco Travel also operates Visitor Information Centers at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market Street at the corner of Powell and Market streets and on the lower level of Macy’s Union Square.  For more information, visit www.sftravel.com.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 39 international cities on 33 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 77 cities in the U.S. on 14 domestic airlines. SFO offers upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com. Follow SFO on www.twitter.com/flysfo and www.facebook.com/flysfo.

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.

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Note to editors:  Photos and press releases are available at www.sftravel.com.
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