15 Jun, 2009
California Conference on Tourism
It’s coming to Newport Beach July 22 through 24. It’s the California Travel Industry Association’s Conference on Tourism.
I got my start in California tourism through this organization. I had done some minor work for local destination management organizations, but as a journalist with a broad focus and work in telecommunications, energy, and public utilities, travel was nothing more than a side bar to a lucrative career as a freelance journalist.
For me the interest was minor, but something on the back burner. It just grew organically, and this organization CALTIA, hired me for seasonal work. I became a part of their team for nearly a decade. Its conference is perfect for those who work in travel, and seek to make valuable connections, or want to update themselves on the travel trends as they relate to California.
The annual event is hosted in cities throughout California, with this year’s conference being held at the Newport Beach Marriott. Among the highlights is the annual presentation by California Travel and Tourism Commission’s CEO, Carolyn Beteta. She’s the person in charge of over $50 million budgeted to promote California tourism around the globe. Her presentation normally includes the roll out of advertising, and one year, she even showed the launch of movie that appeared in theaters around the world. It was produced by Laguna Beach filmmaker and producer Greg MacGillivray in 2000, and was called Adventures in Wild California.
Beteta’s marketing data is most interesting and her presentations are fast-paced and lively. Use of recognized celebrities in commercials and print, and ad campaigns that reflect the perception of California as “fruits & nuts”, offer a glimpse into what the world is seeing, and hopefully attracting them to visit the Golden State.
The conference is open to tourism professionals and a fee is charged. You can get more information at caltia.com