China, Japan and South Korea remain key international markets for inbound tourism to California, and China continues to be a leading overseas market, accounting for more than 1 million visitors in 2015 alone. Coupled with strategic consumer marketing campaigns and trade initiatives, Visit California targets consumers in the South Korea, Japan and China markets through earned media efforts. Visit California obtained numerous high-profile and on-message broadcast, print and online placements in Asia Pacific markets over the past few months. Here are a few top highlights:
One significant placement is the California broadcast integration with South Korean travel-cooking show “Global Cook-Off,” a show on JTBC – one of South Korea’s top cable networks – which began airing on June 15 reaching 1.2 million households. South Korea’s celebrity chefs compete against their peers around the world with five episodes taking place in the San Francisco Bay Area this summer. The three California restaurants featured – Coi Restaurant, Lord Stanley and Wente Vineyards – in the production have already seen a direct increase in Korean visitors.
- Impressions: 1.2 million
- Media value: $4.5 million
In addition, JTBC’s signature travel program, “Where is My Friend’s Home?,” – a show in which emigrants living in South Korea bring their friends to tour their country of origin – aired two episodes in April featuring Los Angeles and Death Valley National Park.
- Impressions: 1.2 million
- Media value: $5 million
The award-winning lifestyle magazine for men known as “Popeye” celebrated the 40th anniversary of its legendary 1976 California issue, an issue that started Japan’s love affair with the Golden State. The July 2016 issue features seven articles expanding across 121 pages that encapsulate a variety of California destinations, including Los Angeles, Silver Lake, Fairfax, Venice, Joshua Tree, San Diego, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. Reaching 48,500 with its circulation, the articles cover what is unique to each city and provide city guides and road trips readers can take through the state and the fashion styles common to each area.
- Impressions: 48,500
- Media value: $1.5 million
California’s No. 1 overseas market continues to yield great benefits. A high-value 48 pages of coverage was secured in the Chinese “Travel + Leisure” magazine, featuring an in-depth cover story for its July 2016 issue and three 10-minute videos on California. The editorial content was supported with a set of culinary-themed tours created by “Travel + Leisure.”
- Impressions: 520 million
- Media value: $18 million
An additional feature story and cover story appeared in the Chinese magazine “Conde Naste Traveler,” dedicating 25 pages of its July 2016 issue to the family fun, fashion and attractions of Southern California.
- Impressions: 26.25 million
- Media value: $3.6 million
The coming months promise additional innovative broadcast projects in the Asia markets. For example, coming soon out of China is a BrandUSA-Visit California video series entitled “Enjoy Travel” that will feature two top Chinese hosts self-driving along the Pacific Coast Highway. The series will have five episodes in total and air across several Fridays. Currently filming in Southern California are two episodes of “Infinite Challenge,” a combined TV-and-online media project with South Korea’s leading television and radio channel, MBC. The entertainment show has been running in the same time slot in Korea for over 10 years, and the two Southern California episodes will feature cast members engaging in challenges at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Joshua Tree National Park. The total PR value for the project is estimated at over $14 million. As the new Director of Asia Pacific Marketing at Visit California, I am thrilled to share with you the exciting ways we’re reaching travelers in the Asia markets!