California region creates online video tool to raise trade awareness

The Californian region of San Luis Obispo County has created an online tool based on Google Earth to give agents and their customers access to video imagery of potential holiday destinations.

The region’s destination marketing company, Visit SLO CAL, met with a range of UK trade partners and showcased the tool during a recent trade mission as it develops a range of new agent training, events and incentives.

Chuck Davison, Visit SLO CAL chief executive, said the Explore tool represented a $100,000 investment, with a second phase currently in development.

He believes it will play a key role both for training and to inspire customers and secure sales.

“Agents are tired of Powerpoint presentations so we are really hopeful this will not only offer a better understanding of the destination but will also inspire them to dig deeper and learn more,” he said.

“We aren’t necessarily the first destination that people think of in California but we offer an authentic experience away from the crowds, so we need to be innovative to get our message across.”

Davison said international visitors were core to SLO CAL’s appeal, adding “we are used to an eclectic mix of voices and that’s something we want to bring back”.

He also said he expected pressure on pricing caused by robust domestic demand during the pandemic to ease as Americans started travelling farther afield again.

One of the main focuses for the tourist board is the premium and luxury market, with a range of new properties opening in areas including Pismo Beach, Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo.

In October, the region will host the next edition of Visit California’s Luxury Travel Forum, with international travel buyers meeting local suppliers and accommodation providers.

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