Visit California Issues Marketing RFP

The purpose of this RFP is to seek and retain a qualified agency to act as the Visit California in-market specialist for marketing and sales representation in Brazil to promote California as a premier travel destination, with the ultimate goal of increasing travel to California. The contracted company will be required to develop a proactive marketing program that enhances the position of California with consumers, key travel trade influencers and media outlets in Brazil. The contracted company will also support consumer advertising and promotional campaign activity and will be involved in the management of Visit California’s owned channels targeting Brazil consumer, including the Website, digital and printed publications, and social media.


California is the leading visitor destination in the United States with more than $140 billion in travel and tourism related spending in 2018. This spending directly supported over one million jobs and generated over $11 billion in state and local tax revenues. Among California’s export-oriented industries, tourism is the fourth largest employer. Since 1998, consistent investment in the California Tourism program (a joint marketing venture of Visit California and the California Division of Tourism) has helped to increase market share and put California in a strong competitive position. About Visit California Visit California is a not-for-profit, 501(C) (6) corporation formed in 1998 to work jointly with the State of California’s Division of Tourism to implement the annual Marketing Plan, which promotes California as a premier travel destination. While these two partners (Visit California and Division of Tourism) are separate legal entities, they are commonly referred to jointly as Visit California. Visit California’s 37-member board of commissioners is composed of individuals from all 12 designated regions of California. Members represent five principal industry sectors: Accommodations, Restaurants and Retail, Attractions and Recreation, Transportation and Travel Services, and the Passenger Car Rental Industry. Twenty-five of the commissioners are elected by the approximately 18,000 assessed California businesses, and the governor appoints 12. The board meets three times a year to help direct Visit California’s programs and activities. A 34-member statewide Marketing Advisory Committee also provides input in developing the Marketing Plan.

Scope of Work:

Overview Please provide a detailed, narrative discussion of the following items:

• Brazil market overview;

• Conditions in the marketplace – trends, shifts and opportunities;

• Competitive analysis for California from the Brazil perspective; and

• Marketing objectives. Key Scope of Work Categories Please provide a detailed marketing strategy for the following items (detailed descriptions are included in the subsequent sections):

• Public Relations and Communications;

• Travel Trade;

• Consumer Marketing, Cooperative and Partnership Programs; and


• Consumer Content Distribution and Owned Channel Management.

• Public Relations Strategy. Public Relations strategy(s) to include, but not be limited to, the identification of potential story angles against market niches; support needed to achieve destination coverage; identification of unconventional means to gain exposure; target publications that align with the targeted lifestyle segments; identification of media vehicles from traditional print to social media.

• Global Digital Influencer Strategy. Working closely with Visit California Headquarters, you will develop a cohesive global digital influencer strategy to expand the reach of Dream Big aspirational messaging and harness the power of multi-channel media personalities. Standards of audience reach, content quality and brand alignment will be established as part of this streamlined approach, with further localization as appropriate for the market. Dedicated digital influencer programs such as press trips to meet the specialized needs of this audience and leverage the development of content.

• Communications Strategy. Communication strategy(s) to build and strengthen communication with appropriate California destination, attraction, lodging, and tourism service providers in order to expand the reach and voice of the California travel product.

• Scope of Work Duties. Examples of current duties which may be included in the awarded Scope of Work:

o Target appropriate consumer and trade media, along with key opinion leaders and influencers that are appropriate for the California brand and secure positive publicity;

o Create a stable of engaged digital influencers to provide California constant engagement on social channels;

o Generate qualified press leads for California travel industry;

o Develop and maintain an ongoing electronic media database accessible by Visit California;

o Organize and host familiarization trips for traditional media and digital influencers;

o Coordinate media receptions and special events (if applicable);

o Proactive pitch development and execution to media audience about leisure travel to California and Visit California promotional activities;

o Leverage in-market contacts to explore new promotional partnerships to extend the California brand in Brazil;

o Identify and support broadcast productions that provide access to mass reach media channel opportunities;

o Maintain and use Visit California’s media portal for all reporting such as press clippings, ROI, media Website and newsletters;

o Assist with crisis communications support as needed; and o Proactively participate in redefining success metrics applying the global objective/KPI framework for media programs in Brazil in collaboration with cross-functional Visit California HQ team. Travel Trade

• Travel Trade Strategy. Travel Trade strategy to include, but not be limited to, the identification of new initiatives to promote California during the course of the year to the Travel Trade; the determination of new strategies to participate in targeted opportunities with airlines and travel trade, and cooperative marketing opportunities targeting key niche audiences in Brazil. Develop a progressive strategy to align Travel Trade distribution channels and opportunities for partnerships, including identifying actions to align with wholesalers, on-line travel agencies (OTAs), airlines, and retail travel agencies.

• Events Strategy. Working closely with Visit California, identify and develop a schedule for participation in industry events, tradeshows, sales missions, workshop presentations, and seminars that reflect participation level consistent with Visit California goals. This will also include the expansion of product development in the Brazil market.

• Educational Strategy.

Educational strategy(s) and activities to educate and train tour operators and retail agents about California, including but not limited to familiarization trips; use of “California STAR” platform and travel trade engagement and training. Visit California’s on-line training program and other creative vehicles to educate and communicate our destination product. California STAR is a dynamic trade resource that is an interactive showcase to act as a planning and sales resource. The platform includes collateral, images, video, itineraries and other resources all to further assist members of the trade on the wealth of destinations and activities that California offers.

• Scope of Work Duties. Examples of current duties which may be included in the awarded Scope of Work:

o Provide bi-annual brochure analysis utilizing Visit California’s travel trade portal; o Develop and maintain list of top-producing tour operators;

o Develop and maintain ongoing electronic travel trade database accessible by Visit California;

o Maintain regular contacts via sales calls, meetings, and travel trade newsletters

o Support Travel Trade in generating bookings to California through trade cooops and education;

o Develop and maintain information on the travel trade Website;

o Promote and update California’s STAR (online training) platform;

o Develop and expand engagement of travel agents via utilization of the California STAR training platform;

o Conduct regular educational seminars with travel trade in Brazil;

o Generate qualified leads for California travel industry;

o Organize and host familiarization trips for product managers and travel agents;

o Represent California at selected travel trade shows and events in market to be jointly determined by Visit California;

o Coordinate co-operative trade programs with select travel partners;

o Form a trade advisory board consisting of key tour operators, airlines, OTAs and other trade influencers and meet with board annually; and

o Proactively participate in redefining success metrics applying the global objective/KPI framework for travel trade programs in Brazil in collaboration with cross-functional Visit California HQ team. Consumer Marketing, Cooperative and Partnership Program

• Consumer Marketing Strategy. Visit California has identified a consistent worldwide target audience to allow for greater efficiency in planning and deploying media and marketing programs on a global basis. This generalized target takes into consideration age, income and travel propensity. Visit California looks to the agency for local research and insights to inform Visit of California planning and strategy.

• Cooperative and Partnership Strategy. In order the expand our “Always On” programming, Visit California looks to the local agency to identify, negotiate and facilitate partnerships to expand the California brand and maximize budget with programs designed to reach consumers in Brazil.

• Scope of Work Duties.

Examples of current duties which may be included in the awarded Scope of Work:

In-Country Marketing Activity. We look to our selected in-country marketing agency to assist and provide input and local insight to our global brand agency as needed. Some examples may include identifying and managing partnerships with entities/disciplines such as: travel trade; airlines; broadcast and media outlets; and digital influencers along with non-endemic partners.

Cooperative and Partnership Programs. In order to extend our reach and visibility to the consumer, Visit California will look to the agency to assist with consumer-facing activations and partnerships, all designed to expand the California brand to the consumer. The local agency would be responsible for developing and oversight of partnerships and local cooperative marketing programs, under the direction of Visit California headquarters.

Due Date:

February 5


Relevant PR firms worth considering include M Booth PR and Magrino PR.

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