July 27, 2017

Tourism gets a boost, strong start in 2012

Posted : March 8, 2012

It’s only the beginning of March and the Calaveras Visitors Bureau (CVB) already has a number of major projects under its belt to attract new visitors to the County, including the 2012 Calaveras Activities Guide, a new website, attendance at several travel shows and more.

The first major project this year was the 2012 Calaveras Activities Guide.  The guide is produced annually and 75,000 copies are printed and distributed locally and abroad through mailings to prospective visitors, travel shows, via nearly 200 member businesses and through several partner organizations.

The second landmark project in 2012 was a brand-new website.  The web address, www.GoCalaveras.com, remains the same but there’s a fresh new look with several added features including a blog, sample itineraries, video content and a members only page where local businesses can learn about CVB happenings and upcoming marketing opportunities, post job openings and more.  The website currently receives more than 9000 visitors per month. GoCalaveras.com is also available in a mobile format to accommodate the growing number of travelers who are using their mobile devices to make their vacation plans. Mobile users currently represent more than 10% of total visitors to the site.

In mid-January the CVB exhibited at the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show.  Thousands of potential visitors were introduced to Calaveras County.  The show hit a record number of attendees by 2:00 p.m. on the first day with over 16,000 people attending the show to that point. The CVB also attended the Bay Area Travel and Adventure Show in February.

In early February, CVB Executive Director, Lisa Mayo, attended the Go West Summit—a gathering of tour operators (buyers), travel media and suppliers.  During the summit, Mayo met with 46 buyers during one-on-one appointments.  The buyers are both domestic and international whose clients include small to large groups as well as independent travelers.   Working to Calaveras’ advantage, many buyers are looking for new destinations that offer adventure, food, wine and good value.

Also in early February, Mayo was a guest on the well-known radio show, The Travel Guys, out of Sacramento.  The Visitors Bureau had eight minutes to promote the diversity of attractions in Calaveras County to the masses and the show was also highlighted on The Travel Guys website. Listen to the interview here. Other media highlights for the county this year include well-deserved recognition from Lonely Planet, which named California Gold Country one of America’s Top 10 Travel Destinations for 2012.

In March, Cari Morgan, public relations consultant for the CVB, will represent Calaveras County at the Visit California Media Reception that takes place in Los Angeles.  This is a fantastic opportunity to meet one on one with key travel media and update them on the latest happenings in Calaveras County.  In anticipation of this event in several other upcoming media opportunities, the CVB has developed a new digital Media Kit for the county that will feature various press releases as well as a photo library.

The Calaveras Visitors Bureau continues to expand its reach through both print and online advertising with Sunset Magazine, Comcast.net and VisitCalifornia.com. Combined, this translates to more than 5.5-million exposures per month. Additionally, the CVB continues to operate the Calaveras Visitors Center located in downtown Angels Camp seven days a week where friendly and knowledgeable staff not only greet visitors, but maintain the events calendar, sell tickets for non-profit group fundraisers, implement direct mail campaigns and add county events to a variety of websites.  Last year, more than 15,000 visitors came through the doors of the Visitors Center. And, people seem to “like” what the CVB is doing. The Visitors Bureau page on Facebook boasts more than 5500 followers.

Tourism is on an upswing in Calaveras County and the outlook for continued growth in 2012 is positive.  There were 200 more visitors through the Visitors Center doors in January 2012 than in January 2011.  The CVB is funded in part by a portion of Transient Occupancy Tax (hotel tax) dollars, which continue to increase, also a key indicator of an upswing in tourism.  TOT is paid by visitors when they stay in hotels.  The portion that the CVB retains is reinvested in tourism promotion to create more new dollars coming into Calaveras County.

“Our goal is always to increase tourism.  By increasing visitors by just one percent, we can add 21 jobs in Calaveras County and an additional $1.5 million dollars in local travel spending,” stated Mayo.

“In 2009 travel spending in Calaveras County was over $148 million,” Mayo continued.  “Tourism is big business!”

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