Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at Visit California's new campaign, Certares' new acquisition, and Chinese travelers' favorite destinations.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, April 17. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Officials in California recently launched a new tourism marketing campaign. Visit California CEO Caroline Beteta discussed it and more in an interview with Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

Beteta said California’s current marketing campaign — titled “Ultimate Playground — aims to showcase a sense of play often associated with the Golden State. She described the campaign as a pivot from Visit California’s long-running campaign “Dream Big,” which she added will still be a part of the organization’s messaging.

Beteta also touched on Visit California’s work with celebrities, who frequently appear on the cover of its visitor guides. She cited Jennifer Hudson as one celebrity the organization has partnered with. 

Next, travel and tourism investment firm Certares was behind a consortium that acquired FTI Group, Europe’s third-largest tour operator, writes Travel Experiences Reporter Jesse Chase-Lubitz. 

The consortium will own all of the share capital while FTI will receive about $130 million to use for its digital transformation and growth. Certartes holds stakes in G Adventures, Tripadvisor and AmaWaterways, among other travel brands. Meanwhile, Munich-based FTI has 120 subsidiaries throughout Europe. 

Finally, Iceland is still a popular destination for Chinese travelers while Kazakhstan has become a new favorite, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.

Iceland remains one of the top 10 most coveted outbound destinations among travelers surveyed by China-based marketing company Dragon Trail International. An executive at Dragon Trail credited reality TV and social media for familiarizing Chinese travelers with Iceland. As for Kazakhstan, the easing of visa restrictions — as well as its winter resorts — have made the country more appealing for many Chinese. 

However, Thailand has suffered in the eyes of many Chinese travelers due to concerns about safety. Roughly 38% of those surveyed by Dragon Trail considered Thailand “unsafe” to visit.

Presenter/Producer: Jane Alexander


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Tags: california, certares, Chinese tourists, iceland, kazakhstan, skift podcast, Visit California

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