California targets leisure travellers

27 August, 2008
Page 11 
The California Wine Institute and the California Travel and Tourism Commission have joined forces to promote the state's wine and cuisine.

They are hoping to lure a specific segment of travellers away from France and other international wine and food destinations.

The five-year promotion will feature a national tele­vision campaign which will be launched this winter and feature Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and wine and culinary celebrities ­promoting the produce California has to offer.

There are about 2,300 wineries in California, producing some 90 per cent of all US wine. California also has nine of the top 10 US agricultural counties.

"California is the most visited state in the US for food and wine-related activities," said CTTC executive director Caroline Beteta. "Wine and food have moved from being a mere vacation activity to a significant part of the aspirational California lifestyle, becoming a driver to visitors choosing a destination."

According to the Travel Industry Association, 17 per cent of American leisure travellers, or 27.3 million people, have engaged in culinary or wine-related activities while travelling.

These travellers are well-educated and more affluent than other US travellers. They cross most age groups and take 6.8 domestic and international trips per year - 15 per cent more than the average US leisure traveller.

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