Visit California prioritises Middle East trade training

Non-profit organisation Visit California relaunches its destination training programme for travel professionals

Visit California, a nonprofit organisation that works to further develop tourism in California, has announced the Middle East relaunch of the Visit California STAR Online Training Program to establish the US state as a premier travel destination among trade professionals in the GCC and Middle East.

About 100 travel agents are expected to graduate as certified California Star travel experts, by June 2024.

The STAR programme is a dynamic platform designed to enhance sales and amplify agents’ understanding of the diverse range of California experiences. Through comprehensive training and interactive sales components, this programme empowers Middle East agents, enabling them to effectively market and sell new and exciting travel products that they can tailor specifically to their clientele’s needs.

After undertaking a number of training modules, travel agents will attain certification as a California STAR expert and be provided with complimentary access to amazing copyright free destination images, promotional videos and access to both invaluable industry insights and a local supplier contact database.

The online training programme has already been introduced to a number of Middle East travel and airline partners in the GCC with excellent reviews. The ability to download themed holiday itineraries and use the Visit California Road Trip Republic online tool to create tailored road trip itineraries have been praised.

In the coming months, Visit California is also looking for key industry players as partners to promote new California travel product.

The focus will encompass a wide array of unique Californian experiences, including relaxed luxury exclusivity, nature experiences, Native Californian experiences, culinary experiences (including California’s Michelin Starred restaurants and farm-to-table gourmet experiences, Classic Car Fairs, and exhilarating road trips.

Glenn Johnston, Managing Director Middle East, Visit California, says: “The California STAR programme equips agents with essential training, interactive sales tools, and marketing resources, transforming them into expert brand ambassadors capable of delivering unforgettable vacations for their potential clients.

“We firmly believe that this programme will not only enrich travellers’ experiences but also significantly contribute to the growth of Visit California holiday packages and revenues for travel agents. It is really an excellent resource that all travel trade professionals will love, even if just for its directory.”

The training content on California Star features an intuitive layout, categorising modules into essential and specialised topics. Advisors are motivated by earning gold, silver, and bronze stars as they progress through the training. The CA STAR App (available for iOS and Android) provides easy access to the programme and information from anywhere in the Middle East.