South Coast Plaza to Get Tourism Kiosk

Over the next few months, the state division of tourism will begin installing "California Welcome Kiosks" at tourist hot spots around the state, including the South Coast Plaza shopping center in Costa Mesa.

The interactive kiosks will dispense general visitor information, allow travelers to book services like hotels and cars, and let users check schedules and purchase tickets for a variety of California attractions.

The South Coast Plaza kiosk is slated to be among the first six machines installed. Other sites are Universal Studios Hollywood, Pier 39 in San Francisco, the Collier rest area on Interstate 5 near the Oregon Border, the Fort Tejon rest area on the Interstate 5 near Bakersfield and the Rohnert Park welcome center on Highway 101 near Santa Rosa.

The state plans to install a total of 164 electronic kiosks throughout the state over the next five years, according to CalTour Director John Poimiroo.

"Anything visitors can do through a ticket agency, they'll be able to do through this system," Poimiroo said. "We're trying to make it as convenient as possible for travelers."

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Marla Dickerson covers tourism for The Times. She can be reached at (714) 966-5670.

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