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Global tourism leaders convene in Santa Barbara to discuss future of California’s tourism industry

Global tourism leaders convene in Santa Barbara to discuss future of California’s tourism industry

More than 500 tourism industry leaders from throughout the state and around the world are gathering in Santa Barbara this week for Visit California’s 2017 Outlook Forum. Attendees will share best-practices and mutual successes while determining a path forward to continue to grow the $122 billion industry.

Guest speakers of the annual conference include Alex Cruz, CEO of British Airways; Robbie Blinkoff, Managing Partner of Context Research; Joe Diaz, co-founder of AFAR Media; Nilou Motamed, Editor-in-Chief of Food and Wine Magazine; and world renowned chefs Tyler Florence, Richard Blais, and Chris Consentino.

“With California’s tourism industry reaching more global markets than ever, Outlook Forum provides an opportunity to bring our industry together to chart a strategic course for the future,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “We’re bringing together the top minds in our industry with a dynamic roster of trendsetters, influencers and innovators who will shape the next generation of tourism in the Golden State.”

Presentations will provide insight into the global tourism landscape, the latest marketing research, and strategies from experts on a wide range of topics including top trends in content development, consumer decision making and the emerging home–sharing economy. Visit California will also release its latest data showing the tourism indsutry’s seventh year of record-setting growth in total visitor spending, job creation and tourism generated tax revenue in 2016.

This year’s forum will be held at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, a top travel destination that relies on the benefits of its strong tourism economy. Annual spending by travelers to the South Coast totals more than $1.5 billion, supporting more than 12,000 jobs and generating more than $45 million in yearly tax revenues.

“We’re excited to welcome Outlook Forum attendees, including colleagues from around the state and throughout the world, to Santa Barbara,” said Visit Santa Barbara President/CEO Kathy Janega-Dykes. “This is Visit California’s premier gathering of industry leaders, and we’re thrilled and grateful that our beautiful region and Bacara Resort & Spa was chosen to serve as a backdrop for this event.”

Caroline Beteta, Visit California President and CEO, will deliver a keynote address on Feb. 27 from 10:45 – 11:45 a.m. to preview the next generation of tourism marketing in the Golden State. She will also highlight Visit California’s successful global marketing campaigns that continue to position California as a top destination for global visitors each year.

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 27, 2016 from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

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