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Visit California relaunches consumer website

Image-driven resource to inspire travel to the Golden State.

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – Visit California is making its website more inspiring and visually engaging with a complete redesign of its 13 sites in nine languages. The new, fully responsive VisitCalifornia.com leverages the latest in website design, best practices from today’s cutting edge consumer brands and high-quality visual assets to inspire visitors to bring the organization’s “Dream Big” brand marketing platform to life in the digital space. The redesign repositions Visit California’s consumer website to better align with the organization’s overall marketing efforts and ultimately drive travel to the Golden State.  

Designed in collaboration with creative agency Code and Theory, the new site aims to serve as an inspiring introduction to California. Content was built from the ground up in collaboration with long time content partner, Sunset, and showcases the diversity and abundance found throughout the regions of the state.

“A curated gallery of California’s abundance of experiences, the new VisitCalifornia.com offers compelling content that better embodies our dreamer lifestyle,” said Caroline Beteta, president & CEO of Visit California. “The site includes big, bold images that bring the California experience to life, showing consumers the abundance of what the Golden State has to offer.”

This renewed strategy focuses on the unique value a statewide tourism organization provides, providing context for what a visitor can experience throughout the state and creating excitement for a California vacation. Once that excitement is created, consumers are directed to best in class third-party sites to complete the planning and booking process.

“Accessing medias is the centerpiece of the travel planning process and potential visitors are utilizing a host of websites for everything from trip inspiration to planning and ultimately to booking and sharing their trip,” said Lynn Carpenter, Vice President of Marketing at Visit California. “Visit California is carving out a unique space to tell the California brand story, inspire consumers and capitalize on the investments of world class brands like Google, TripAdvisor and Weather.com.”

“Partnering with Visit California to better translate their story and message to the digital space was an incredible challenge,” said Michael Martin, Managing Partner of Code and Theory’s San Francisco office. “Beautiful, high-quality, original editorial content is one of the most authentic ways to engage first-time visitors and drive repeat visits. Not only will users be able to visually explore content in a more streamlined and intuitive way, but the Visit California team will be able to publish content easily and flexibly in order to best serve their customers and industry partners. It was a pleasure collaborating with the talented team at Visit California to bring this shared vision to life.”

This is Visit California’s first major website strategy shift in nearly 10 years, and the investment solidifies the organization’s focus on establishing a strong digital base for the California brand.  While online travel agents (OTAs) dominate the pre-booking research landscape, recent research by Hall & Partners for Visit California found that destination websites were the second most used source for researching leisure travel in the United States.

The U.S. and Canada versions of the site launch first, with the other 12 global sites following in Q1 of 2015.    

Highlights of the new VisitCalifornia.com include:

  • Mobile/Responsive Design: The website was built to be fully responsive to ensure the best possible browsing experience for today’s increasingly mobile consumer. Mobile platforms are becoming the primary engagement platform for travelers, according to the 2014 DMAI DestinationNEXT report.
  • Renewed Strategy: The site will refocus Visit California’s digital identity and will not try to tell the entire story, but instead provide relevant information to move consumers to a decision and then pass them to partners, like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Disneyland Parks and Resorts and Universal Studio Hollywood, for deeper content and eventual booking.
  • More Flexible Structure: An easy to navigate back end infrastructure will allow for more up-to-date relevance, such as seasonal content or spotlights on newly announced offerings.
  • Utility Features: The new site will work to provide utility to the consumer, providing important information – like current and average seasonal temperatures, high level maps for geographic context and easy access to more complex mapping technology.
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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