Tahoe looking to go International to fill midweek room

by Placerville Newswire / Mar 07, 2016 / comments

[Visitors enjoy a winter sleigh ride along the shores of Lake Tahoe. Courtesy / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority]

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Tourism industry insiders from across California met in the Bay Area last month to discuss tourism trends and growth potential for the state as part of Visit California’s 2016 Outlook Forum.

Among the points of emphasis, the conference focused on growing international tourism, digital marketing strategies and California’s overall tourism growth.

“California is the No. 1 travel destination in the United States,” Visit California president and CEO Caroline Beteta said in a press release. “We witnessed another record-setting year in 2015, and Outlook Forum ensures we remain top-of-mind as a premier travel destination.”

According to the nonprofit marketing organization’s 2014 numbers, spending by travelers totaled $117.5 billion, generating over 1 million jobs and $9.3 billion in state and local tax revenue.

As for future growth, South Tahoe-based tourism consultant Carl Ribaudo of SMG Consulting said, “There’s definitely a focus on international (visitors).”

It’s an area Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority Executive Director Carol Chaplin said the Tahoe Basin could afford to capitalize on, since the majority of current visitation is more regional or drive-market based.

“To know that they (Visit California) are helping to bring people to California that are destination travelers, that’s something that we (LTVA) have a hard time doing with a smaller budget,” Chaplin said. “I’m really excited about the prospect of the destination visitor that could be from many different countries. That’s the person that’s spending more and staying more nights.”

While weekend visitation is strong in the region, both Ribaudo and Chaplin indicated that the Tahoe Basin has significant room to grow for midweek visits.

“Having more business on Tuesday and Wednesday nights would be awesome,” Chaplin said.

Part of Visit California’s branding emphasis is also based on promoting lifestyle, Ribaudo noted...

He also pointed toward the proposed Highway 50 revitalization project as a significant step toward improving the area, and credited Heavenly Village as a step toward a more focused cultural center.

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