To entice new and repeat travelers from Germany, one of California’s top overseas markets, the California Travel & Tourism Commission has expanded its web site,, to give them the inside scoop on how to experience the California lifestyle during their visit.

“Germany, our fifth largest overseas market, loves the California lifestyle, and research shows that although 49 percent of German travelers book their air tickets via travel agents, their decision on where to visit is made largely by Internet research,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of the CTTC and chair of the US Travel Association. “An easy-to-use web site with “insider” information from an official tourism source is key to their decision process. As part of our global Internet marketing expansion efforts, we’ve worked with our German in-market agency to expand so it speaks to Germans and their needs in an even more impactful way.”

Approximately 322,000 Germans came to California in 2007, spending an estimated US$355 million in California and supporting tourism jobs and economies throughout the Golden State. German visitors to California during 2007 reported spending US$95 per day during an 11.6 night average stay or approximately US$1,102 per visitor. Last year, CTTC expanded its overall international marketing efforts by US$20 million, a 250 percent increase over 2006.

“Despite a 34 percent increase in German travel to California in 2007, we cannot take any markets for granted in today’s economy,” said Beteta. “Now is the time to keep reminding this important market about the great value California still represents, with the favorable exchange rate and unique diversity and abundance of experiences. This expanded web site is an engaging way to help German visitors fall in love or reconnect with California – with more customized information in a visually-exciting format that stays true to our valuable brand.”

The site was expanded and redesigned based on focus group feedback that German visitors want to fully experience the state’s easygoing culture and lifestyle like a local resident. As a result, the site now boasts expanded key features, such as “must-see” attractions, as well as the inside scoop on off-the-beaten-path places that only the locals know about. To help them choose from the state’s abundant options, the site includes more trip ideas to help visualize vacations across the state. It also has a cleaner look that is easier to read, with deeper German content and information on basics such as visas and transportation. There’s also more information on flight options and costs, as well as some vacation packages that stress value – a key component to German travelers’ destination choices.

The California Travel & Tourism Commission (CTTC) is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. According to the CTTC, travel and tourism expenditures total US$96.7 billion annually in California, support jobs for 924,100 Californians, and generate US$5.8 billion in state and local tax revenues. For more information about the CTTC and for a free California Visitor’s Guide, go to