Visit California launches initiative to promote smart and sustainable tourism

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Visit California has selected global consulting firm JLL to prepare a dozen regional strategic plans to help guide California’s tourism industry over the next decade, the statewide tourism marketing organization announced today.

JLL will conduct extensive research with industry stakeholders, residents and civic leaders from across the state and will add to existing strategic research to prepare specific plans for each of California’s 12 tourism regions. The plans will examine the full range of tourism issues, from overcrowded destinations to housing imbalances, environmental challenges, workforce development and infrastructure needs.

Tourism companies and California’s more than 300 destination management organizations will use the findings and recommendations to inform business decisions, inspire partnerships with local governments and nonprofit organizations, and build a more sustainable future for the industry.



“Visit California couldn’t be more excited to join JLL in launching this ambitious and innovative strategic planning effort,” said Caroline Beteta, the organization’s president and CEO. “California’s tourism industry is reeling from an economic shock 10 times greater than 9/11, but it is a perfect opportunity for us to take stock, assess challenges and opportunities, set priorities and develop regional strategies for the coming years. 10 years. Strategic planning will create more resilient and sustainable destinations across the state and strengthen partnerships between California communities and the tourism industry.”

“We applaud Visit California for taking on a project of this magnitude to plan for each resort region and the state as a whole,” said Dan Fenton, director of JLL Global Tourism and Destination Services. “JLL is honored to partner with Visit California in this effort, and we look forward to working with tourism stakeholders across the state to deliver 12 actionable strategic plans that will guide the industry over the next 10 years.”



JLL was selected after a request for proposals process conducted by Visit California and industry leaders. Funding for the program comes from a $4.9 million allocation from a US Economic Development Administration pandemic recovery grant awarded to California.

The project launches immediately with the initial stakeholder survey and is scheduled to conclude in late 2024 with the delivery of plans, recommendations, and action items in each of California’s tourism regions: San Diego County, San Diego County, Orange, Deserts, Inland Empire, Los Angeles County, Central Coast, Central Valley, Gold Country, San Francisco Bay Area, High Sierra, Shasta-Cascade and North Coast.

JLL’s consulting partners on the project include Ernst & Young, Tourism Economics, World Travel and Tourism Council, Tourism Diversity Matters, The Zimmerman Agency, Unisphere Ideas, SWCA Environmental Consultants, and RiskLayer. JLL has conducted tourism research in more than 150 destinations around the world. In California, JLL has 20 offices and more than 4,200 employees.

The objectives for the development of the plan include:

  • Identify industry opportunities and challenges and recommend improvement strategies to be implemented over a 10-year period.
  • Build community and industry-wide support for responsible travel principles and strategies to protect the environment and cultural property.
  • Assess climate impacts to and from tourism in each region and recommend courses of action for destinations and businesses.
  • Encourage destination tourism development that maximizes diversity and equity and attracts all visitors.
  • Build more lasting alliances between the tourism industry and civic, governmental and political leadership in each region.
  • Establish stronger links between tourism and its economic impact on local communities, while mitigating links between tourism and negative impacts.
  • Create stronger brand perceptions for destinations.
  • Develop priority recommendations for infrastructure projects that help tourism.
  • Identify pathways to a more stable workforce by improving housing imbalances and health and safety issues.
  • Identify and ameliorate the impacts of visitor volume that degrade the community and visitor experience.



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