California Travel & Tourism CommissionExploratory Strategy Research August – September 2007 arranged by Market Condition GmbH
Research Goals • Verification of the current images of the brand California as well as the positioning • Motivation for visiting California • Future visitors’ level of knowledge regarding California • Booking habits for overseas travels • Evaluation of “California” spot • Determining suitability of celebrities as advertisers
Qualitative Part Conduction of 4 focus groups in Hamburg and Frankfurt. Participants: Pre-recruited visitors of California and people who plan/consider a visit August 2007 Quantitative Part Conduction of 400 interviews in Hamburg and Frankfurt. Participants: Pre-recruited visitors of California and people who plan/consider a visit September 2007 Research Structure
Quantitative Part - Structure For the quantitative part suitable participants are pre-recruited. Two 2-hours focus groups are held in Frankfurt and Hamburg. In each city one group consists of people who have already visited California, and one group of people who plan/consider to visit California. The participants are women and men between 23 and 67 years old.
California Visitors The group consists of the following: • 50% of the participants visited California 2-3 times within the past 10 years • 50% of the participants visited California 1 time within the past 10 years
California Intender • 25% of the participants plan a trip to California within the next 3-9 months, and have already informed themselves of • 25% of the participants plan a trip within the next 9-18 months, and have not informed themselves of, yet. • 50% of the participants have an affinity to overseas travels and would not exclude California
Focus Groups - Methodologies Within the frame of the qualitative part several projective procedures are used prior to and during the focus groups, in order to allow an access to the participants’ emotions and associations in regard of “California”.
Focus Groups - Methodologies • Projective procedure prior to the focus group in form of a “homework in advance” • Creating a postcard the participant sends from California • Creating a profile of “California as a person”, with all characteristics and features the participant associates with “California”.
Focus Groups - Methodologies • Projective procedure during the focus group • Creating a collage with the title “California”, by means of pictures in magazines • Creating a self-drawn picture with the title “what best represents California”.
Focus Groups- Results Current Environment the Participants live in
Current Domicile - Advantages Most of the statements are in regard of the location of the domicile. The most mentioned aspects are: - quiet location - green field location - park nearby - surrounded by woods and meadows
Current Domicile - Advantages Also important aspects are the travel connections. The most mentioned aspects are: - good travel connections - good autobahn connection - quickly at the airport - close to a large city
Current Domicile - Advantages The following points do also have a positive influence on the domicile - central location - good infrastructure - parking lots in front of the house - nice neighbors - good possibility to go out at nights - a historic environment, it stands for a high quality of life
Current Domicile - Disadvantages The statements regarding the disadvantages of the current domicile vary between Frankfurt and Hamburg. • In both cities mentioned are too loud neighbors and missing public travel connections • The missing infrastructure plays in Frankfurt a role • Often mentioned in Hamburg are the high crime rate, the continuous construction sites, too much traffic, the high noise level, especially on the weekends, and too many tourists
Focus Groups- Results The ideal international vacation
The ideal international vacation The ideal international vacation consists of various categories. Those are: - relaxation - experience - nature - sport - culture - diversion
The ideal international vacation - Relaxation • Relaxed daily routine • Relaxation • To drift • Mixture of absolute relaxation and round trip • Long trip length • Nice weather • No planning
The ideal international vacation - Experience • To go to the city at night for partying • Absolute luxury • Exciting evening • The vacation must be adapted to the country and surrounding area • To see as much as possible of the surrounding area • To see as much as possible • To have fun • To experience it all
The ideal international vacation - Nature • Main component is water • To be at the ocean, coast over day • National parks • Good mixture between city and countryside • Diversified • Discoverer vacation • Things you cannot see in Europe, deserts, geyser
The ideal international vacation - Sport • Sport activities in general • Beach • Surfing
The ideal international vacation - Culture • Too see historical buildings • To get to know other cultures • To experience art • To get to know people from that country • To get to know regional food • To get to know the people and the land • To learn about the past and the development of a city
The ideal international vacation - Diversion • To satisfy curiosity • To get to know new people • Diversity • Balanced • Shopping • Sightseeing • Sports activity • Combination of multiple city travel and holiday on the beach • To experience the combination of all
Focus Groups- Results Competitors of California
Competitors of California As spontaneous competitors of California are mentioned: Brazil, Fiji, Florida, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, South Africa, Thailand, Asia, Australia, Bahamas, Ireland, Japan, Nigeria, Polynesia, South France, Texas, West Africa, Dominican Republic, Boston, British Columbia, North-east of the USA, Portugal and the Rocky Mountains
Competitors of California The focus groups see the following as the “strongest” competitors of California: Brazil, Thailand, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The groups mentions the strengths and weaknesses of those competitors.
Strengths Carnival Beautiful women Cult on the beach Cities Nature in the countryside Diverse people Very modern buildings Positive mentality Little time lag Polite people Weaknesses Poverty Crime Mosquito in the River Amazon area Competitor Brazil
Strengths Very good service Very good price-performance-ratio The swimming is in the foreground Culture, diverse belief Beautiful land Charming beaches Very good cuisine Very cheap Weaknesses Preteen prostitution Large insects and spiders Snakes You get to know more tourists than indigenous people Prostitution High crime rate Competitor Thailand
Strengths Beautiful beaches, high mountains Very beautiful weather, climate No time lag Exotic food Exotic, fantastic animals Interesting cultures Safari, wild animals, Krueger National Park Good wine, red wines Diving with the sharks Table mountain Weaknesses Only seasonal vacations possible, winter or summer Very high crime rate Impacts of the apartheid You can’t stay everywhere you want, bad hygienic conditions Malaria, vaccination required Rainy season As a white man you have to protect yourself Tsetse fly Disastrous social situation Competitor South Africa
Strengths Totally different culture Many German Immigrants live there You can discover the island with a rucksack Unique animal world Small continent, in which you can find everything Individualistic inhabitants Weaknesses Large time lag Very long flight Very expensive flight Large distance Far too hot Ozone hole Suppression of aboriginal inhabitants Large areas only with steppe Poisonous snakes, spiders Competitor Australia
Strengths Very individual Very tolerant people Relaxed inhabitants Unimportant how rich you are, brands are unimportant, too Diverse nature Very short ways from mountain to coast Affordable hotels Weaknesses Long travel Flights are expensive At the end of the world Disgusting food English cuisine dominates Twerp inhabitants Jailbirds, not an enlightened people Competitor New Zealand
Strengths Lots of nature and wildlife Solitude Woods Great lakes, rivers Fishing instead of heat at the beach Down-to-earth Indian Summer Central location Many sports activities Infrastructure Good lobster Friendly people, European Beautiful rugged coast, beautiful to drive along with the car Weaknesses Cold No VIPs No Hollywood Eating culture is not good Pubs/restaurants are far too expensive Competitor Canada
Character of the Destinations • South Africa and Thailand are associated with a nature vacation • Canada and New Zealand would be visited because of the country • Brazil is rather a mixture of both
Suitability of the Destinations According to the participants the various destinations are suitable for diverse target groups. New Zealand or Australia are rather suitable for loving couples or families. Brazil is also suitable for families. However, due to safety reasons South Africa should in any case be visited without children, but either with a second person or with friends.
Suitability of the Destinations California is assessed as a destination for “everybody”. You can go there for vacation as a single, couple, family, with a group or clique. It merely seems to be unsuitable as a destination together with small children. Nevertheless, it is also an unsuitable destination “for the low-budget vacation”.
Connection to California The visitors do not only associate sights with California, but also emotions. However, the intender associate it with experience and diversity.
Visitors - rational San Francisco is the most beautiful city in the USA Is located at the ocean Reno, Sacramento Lake Tahoe From nature to shopping Diversity Take pictures of houses Intender - rational Film studios California has a leading role in regard of ecology Golden Gate Bridge Alcatraz Action vacation Many trips, see a lot Celebrity bonus Connections to California
Visitors - emotional To be free To be happy To see something To relax Not because of the countryside Intender- emotional - It has everything Connections to California
Focus Groups - Results California – projective procedures Prior to the focus groups
California- as a person Describing California as a person, with all its features and characteristics, has shown some regional differences.
California- as a person The participants in Frankfurt see California as a man in his 30s, with a family. This man is open-minded and tolerant, innovative, intelligent and reliable.
California- as a person The respondents in Hamburg see California as a woman, around 30. She is unmarried, yet, but plans to have a family one day. She is wealthy and adventurous, always up-to-date and self-confident.
California- as a person Features that are mentioned in both cities are: • loves sport, freedom and nature • enjoys life and has fun • is friendly and tolerant • drives a middle-class to upper-class car
California- as a person The negative features of this person are, for both cities: • eats often/too much fast food • is nice but superficial • doesn’t bother about the future • has a tendency to become overweight
Focus Groups- Results A postcard from California - Projective task prior to the focus group
A Postcard from California The most mentioned aspects in the postcards through all four groups are: Aspect Frequency With partner/family 23 Relaxation 13 Multi-City tour 26 Sports/Adventure 22 Sights 24 Hollywood 13 People are open-minded and friendly 12 To get to know people, country, nature 16 Shopping 3
Focus Groups- Results California - projective procedures Collage in the group