For this assignment, I chose the non-profit organization”Visit California”. Tourism and travel industries are major players for TheGolden State, generating 126.3 billion US dollars in visitor spending and 10.3billion US dollars in tax revenues in 20161.
In 2011, “Visit California” released a 5-year business to transform thenegative perception of Tourism in the Golden State as being an invasive forcerather than focusing on the opportunities and advantages that this sectorpresent. For it to be successful, “Visit California” presented three keystrategies2:1. Reinforce “Visit California’s” Value to Travel-RelatedBusiness2. Unify Industry Leaders to Raise the Relevance of the Travel Industry3. Position Travel and Tourism to Elevate California’sOverall ImageTo help “Visit California” with itsobjectives, I would implement a Portfolio Management Strategy to effectivelyelevate the organization’s name locally and abroad by focusing on a strongStrategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP). Corbin Ball Associates defines a SMMPas a “strategic management of enterprise-wide meeting related process, spend,volumes, standards and suppliers to achieve quantitative cost-savings, riskmitigation and superior service”3.The purpose of using a SMMP is to be as efficient as possible by using specificresources available and reduce costs to have the best Return of Investment (ROI)for all the stakeholders involved. This approach will help to build or completea strong Portfolio Management.
1. Position Travel and Tourism to ElevateCalifornia’s Overall ImageFor this objective, “Visit California” sets atarget of reaching 91% of favorable votes in the 2013 Outreach Referendum torenew the 1996 Creation Act for 6 more years as mandated by the CA Senate Act257. Since its inception, the organization had two referendums with similarpurposes: in 2001 and in 2007. There are 5500 assessed businesses that vote inthe referendum and ultimately decide the fate of the organization. If they arenot satisfied with “Visit California’s” performance, they will stop theirmonetary contribution. To help reach this goal, as a portfoliomanagement strategy, I would suggest that “Visit California” diversifies itsmarket segments, since 56% of the assessed businesses are restaurants/retailersand 34% are accommodations.
It would be interesting if other actors could havetheir voices heard such as the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE)industry, especially due to the importance of that sector in the economy. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in2009 there were 1.79 million meetings with 204.7 million participants with adirect spending of 113 billion US dollars in the United States4. If “Visit California” could increasetheir portfolio by adding that sector, it would enable the ability to reachother markets through this marketing strategy. They would thus be able to finda reliable partner that could result in increased satisfaction with theorganization and reach its objective of 91%. As a SMMP approach for thisportfolio management strategy, I would organize small events with thoseprofessionals so that “Visit California” can recruit new members to itsorganization. The organization canshowcase its strengths through its marketing strategies to make sure that theMICE industry will feel welcomed as part of the “Visit California” family.
Iwould also suggest the use of technological software tools such as a diverse socialmedia platform to spread additional awareness and enable an increased investmentin advertising so they can feel that California is THE location for the MICEindustry.2. Unify Industry Leaders to Raise the Relevanceof the Travel IndustryTourism and travel related business arecatalysts to any economy, if planned and managed well. It is crucial to have governmentalentities on board since they are the guardians of the destination. Eachdestination in the world is inside a nation, a country, or a region led by agovernmental body that sets the laws and regulate, to a certain degree, itseconomy. “Visit California” aims to foment a relationship between industryleaders to create one unified voice that will enable greater awareness for legislatorsabout the benefits of tourism. As a portfolio management strategy, not only wouldI emphasize the obvious economic benefits of tourism (jobs, economic growth,and investment, etc.
) which are already covered by “Visit California” businessplan, but I would also develop a broader message to be used by the organization.My message would reflect one that would highlight bringing people together to celebratetheir cultural differences but also reveal their similarities to one another. Mostimportantly, show Californians they can benefit through the engagement of itsvisitors. If Tourism is well coordinated with legislators, everyone can benefitfrom it – from the industry leaders to every single citizen whose job isdirectly or indirectly related to Tourism.
This can help reduce inequality inmany aspects: increased wages, transportation, and urban planning, to name afew. “Visit California” not only would have an impact on the economy but it canalso be perceived as contributor to social responsibility. The SMMP will mainlyfocus on a major event with the industry leaders, legislators and professionalswhere “Visit California” can be presented as an organization that brings everyonetogether. 3.
Position Travel and Tourism to ElevateCalifornia’s Overall ImageThis objective has a broader target audience.While the first two objectives targeted industry leaders, and government legislators,this one is aimed at the public in general with a specific goal: to promoteCalifornia as a destination through media and other venues according to theirstrategic plan. Traditional awareness techniques such as featuring the state ofCalifornia in TV shows, movies or through partnerships with celebrities arepretty well covered on the organization’s business plan. As an additionalportfolio management strategy, I would also consider a subtler approach sincenot everyone watches TV nor follows celebrities.
For example, to elevate California´sawareness, I’d suggest product placement on agricultural grocery products thatare made in the Golden State. Since California agriculture (i.e. dairy industrymeasured impact of $6.3B in revenue5)is a titan of economic strength for the state, becoming a partner can onlyincrease tourism advocacy beneficially. The SMMP would focus on revealing tothe agriculture industry members the benefits in partnering with “VisitCalifornia”. One example could be a national product placement of the “VisitCalifornia” logo with its dairy products. The organization could have its logostamped on products so that the consumer can be aware of the origin.
It wouldbe a very effective tool and less expensive than hiring a celebrity. In theend, both “Visit California” and the CA agriculture industry would benefitmutually.1Runyan, D. Associates, Inc. (2017), “California Travel Impacts by County, 1992-2016p”,p.
62″It’s a Word…It’s a Plane…
– Visit California’s Strategic Business Plan •2011–2016″ (2011), p.2, accessed on 01/17/18,https://industry.visitcalifornia.
com/-/media/PDFs/Publications/FINAL-Visit-California-Business-Plan-93011.ashx3Corbin Ball Associates (2009), “Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP)Implementation and Idea Guide”, p.3, accessed on 01/17/18, http://www.corbinball.com/assets/SMMPWhitePaper.pdf4The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.
S. Economy (2011) p.7, PriceWaterhouseCoopers,accessed on 01/18/2018, http://www.eventscouncil.org/docs/default-source/ess/CIC_Final_Report_Executive_Summary.
pdf?sfvrsn=05Bertone, R. (2017), in “California’s Top 10 Ag Products”. Accessed on01/19/2018, https://www.farmflavor.com/california/californias-top-10-ag-products/