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CONNECTIONS LUXURY: CONNECTIONS CALIFORNIA 2019


Luxury travellers fuel California’s tourism growth


alifornia remains the top travel destination in the US and welcomed 280 million visitors last year, according to figures released by Visit California. The Golden State has enjoyed eight consecutive years of growth and has a travel economy 2.5 times the size of New York’s and five times as big as Hawaii’s.


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Leona Reed, the tourist board’s associate vice-president for global marketing, attributed the growth to a strategic approach based on brand advertising, airline partnerships and the targeting of emerging markets. The state also continues to highlight an abundance of authentic experiences to attract high-net- worth travellers. Reed said: “While the luxury traveller represents only 5% of the trips made to California, this equates to 13% of the overall tourism spending.”


SANTA MONICA PROUD TO BE ‘HOLLYWOOD’S PLAYGROUND’ Santa Monica’s iconic shoreline, award-winning dining scene and world-class hotel collection make it perfectly placed to attract the modern luxury traveller, the city’s tourism chief explained. Misti Kerns, chief executive and


president of Santa Monica Travel and Tourism, also highlighted an array of experiences that appeal to active travellers. “We’re Hollywood’s playground,” she said. “There’s something about this beachside city that sparks bold ideas – from the athletes developing the latest fitness trends and the chefs creating fusion cuisines, to the tech companies that have declared our shores along Marina del Ray and Playa del Ray ‘Silicon Beach’.” Kerns added: “There’s so much diversity and I think luxury travellers – just like everyone else – want to have options. I think we provide a very good menu.”


DELEGATES’ FEEDBACK


CAROLINE BETETA PRESIDENT & CEO, VISIT CALIFORNIA “We’re thrilled with the Connections platform for Californian luxury travel. It’s one thing to talk about California when you’re overseas to these clients, but it’s really a promise fulfilled when they can experience it first-hand. This is what Connections brings to us.”


DANIEL BEN-EFRAIM SHUTTERS ON THE BEACH & HOTEL CASA DEL MAR “Personal relationships are the key to crafting unique and memorable experiences. Connections provides an opportunity for people to meet and inspire each other to create those long-lasting luxury experiences.”


Connections is the global networking and event organiser exclusively serving senior leaders and experts in luxury, wellness, weddings, meetings and adventure. It brings together industry leaders to do business and discuss trends and challenges. Its events blend informative and challenging content with networking and practical experiences.


weareconnections.com EVENT SUPPORTERS


LIMOR DECTER OVATION TRAVEL “You showcased California in the best way and I know that I will continue referring clients to this beloved Golden State.”


RICHARD LEWIS INSIGNIA


“The level of buyer, along with supplier, was just perfect. I certainly made a tremendous amount of new contacts with whom I believe we will do some great business.”


30 MAY 2019


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