Despite suffering from the Trump administration's travel bans, the Middle East is a target for Visit California. The region's luxury travelers are big spenders abroad and it makes sense for destinations to try and work out how best to capture some of that cash.
California generates a decent chunk of its tourism revenue from international visitors, and as outbound markets across the world continue to mature, new sources are coming to prominence.
The Middle East is a case in point, and outbound travelers from the likes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are frequently big spenders. That’s why it makes sense for a destination marketing organization like Visit California to try and better understand the wishes and needs of tourists from those particular countries.
This week Skift contributor Laura Powell takes a closer look at the state’s plans to further tap into what is already a lucrative market.
— Patrick Whyte, Europe Editor
6 Looks at Luxury
California Leads U.S. Destinations’ Efforts to Target the Middle East Luxury Traveler: In the effort to attract high-spending tourists, states often look overseas. That’s a good idea – international visitors typically spend more on trips than domestic travelers. But certain international markets present a more complicated consumer landscape than others. That’s what Visit California has discovered as it develops a strategy to bring in more travelers from the Middle East.
Lifestyle-Brand Veteran Dream Hotel Group to Expand Aggressively: It’s no secret that lifestyle brands cater to a particular type of traveler, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of money still to be made in the space. As lifestyle veterans, Dream Hotel Group could have a leg up over larger chains that have more capital to play with.
Luxury Travelers Want to Spend on Self-Care: There’s now a wellness-themed trip out there for almost every traveler’s wants, whether that’s an ultra-exclusive self-care summit or an intense hiking tour in a remote locale. So it comes as no surprise that the already booming wellness industry is now benefiting from people hitting the road.
Travel Advisors School Affluent Clients on the Great American Road Trip: As well-traveled Americans and international visitors look for their next adventures, travel advisors are pointing them to the allures of the open road. Fueled by an increase in high-end lodging options in the American West, more luxury travelers will shift gears and opt for driving rather than flying.
Hong Kong-Based Langham Is on the Prowl for Acquisitions in Europe: Langham has expanded in North America, China, and Australia, but not in Europe, where its acquisition of The Langham, London, gave it the brand. A new wave of development earmarks Europe as a priority, and the company wants to enter the resort space as well. But before all that can happen, it needs to further raise brand awareness.
Emirates Is First Major Airline to Launch Basic Business Class Fare: Emirates has fired the first salvo in the unbundling of business class fares. Now you can buy just the seat, with none of the other trimmings that travelers are used to with top-tier carriers. It’s a pragmatic strategy, one that gives more choice to travelers. The tension will now be maintaining that great luxury brand halo and still letting the premium cabins do the marketing hard yards for the carrier.
Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the New Luxury newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday.
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Photo Credit: The Hotel Californian in Santa Barbara, California. Visit California is hoping to bring in more luxury travelers from the Middle East. Max Whittaker / Visit California
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