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DecemBER 13, 2017

VSCC Staff Attends WTM

Hosted by Visit California and its delegation of 27 destinations, attractions, and hotels statewide, VSCC staff participated in World Travel Market London (WTM) November 6 – 8.  This business-to-business event presents a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to UK and international travel buyers.  The event provided Santa Cruz County lodging properties valuable exposure in the international marketplace, as WTM provides a unique opportunity for the global travel trade professionals to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business in one central location.  

Laura Manriquez, VSCC Director of Sales and Marketing, joined over 50,000 senior travel industry professionals and international media representatives from 182 countries at this annual event held in early November.  To kick off the trade show, the Visit California delegation hosted an exclusive event for 112 top UK clients, featuring the new “California Life” campaign which included multiple shots of Santa Cruz County. Over the three days on the tradeshow floor, VSCC hosted meetings within Visit California’s high-profile booth.  Visit Santa Cruz County introduced the destination through business appointments and networking opportunities with travel managers, directors, airline affiliates, and select journalists. WTM London, now in its 38th year, generates more than $3 billion of travel industry contracts annually and over $1 billion in travel trade to California last year. 


Santa Cruz County Chosen by Travel Weekly for Fam Tour, Magazine Covers

Santa Cruz County has been chosen by Travel Weekly magazine, in the UK as one of three destinations to be featured on the cover in 2018 as part of the Travel Weekly Cover Stars competition and familiarization tour.  The Cover Stars competition gives travel agents the opportunity join a fam trip where they will each be photographed enjoying activities or experiences within a destination which will then grace the cover of Travel Weekly’s printed magazine. All agents apply for this annual opportunity, and ultimately a total of 12 agents will be featured on every 4th cover throughout 2018.   Visit Santa Cruz County hosted the group December 8 – 9th with support from Seascape Beach Resort, the Santa Cruz Beach BoardwalkMount Hermon AdventuresChardonnay Sailing ChartersCapitola VillageParadise Beach Grill, and Natural Bridges State Beach.

Comprising of 12 travel agents, a photographer and hosts from both Visit California and Travel Weekly the Cover Stars fam group will arrive in Los Angeles on December 4th and depart from Oakland on December 9th.  Cover Stars is Travel Weekly UK’s flagship annual competition – in association with Visit California,  American Airlines, and British Airways - and is designed to showcase the top travel sellers, with an additional focus on Visit California and the participating partner destinations of Santa Cruz County, West Hollywood and San Luis Obispo. Currently in its seventh year, Cover Stars celebrates 12 Travel Weekly agents by hosting them on a familiarization tour while a photo shoot takes place concurrently at a variety of locations within the destination. Throughout 2018, one of the winners will appear on the front cover of Travel Weekly each month, and is profiled in a double-page spread inside, where they talk about their career and their experience of the sponsors’ and partners’ product during the trip. This editorial will run over 16 months to the final cover and profile to appear in December 2018. Travel Weekly is the leading travel trade title offering news, analysis and features on the people, products and issues facing the travel industry, and is sent to 15,000 subscribers each week, with content distributed in digital format on and via email.   


Three Things to Know for 2018

As the New Year approaches, here are three things to keep in mind when ringing in 2018.  First off, Visit Santa Cruz County will launch a completely redesigned Official Santa Cruz County Traveler’s Guide in January 2018.  This new design will be a true reflection of the Santa Cruz lifestyle, featuring a slimmer, more user-friendly and portable size, timely and useful destination editorial and bold new photography:  all combined to deliver an inspirational, one-of-a-kind publication which will deliver premium exposure for local businesses.

Second, mark your calendars for First Day Hikes in Santa Cruz County!  First Day Hikes take place nationwide at state and national parks and encourage Americans to start off the year on the right foot (or the left!) by visiting a park and exploring a trail or two.  For more information on local state parks participating in First Day Hikes, click here!  

Finally, for those wanting to break in their new daily planner, the U.S. Travel Association is gearing up to help improve and encourage travel in 2018, including promoting National Plan for Vacation Day on Tuesday, January 30th!  This second annual event encourages Americans to declare their vacation days for the rest of the year, at the start of the year.  For those more tech-oriented than pen-and-paper when it comes to planning, here is a built-in online calendar that can help you plan for those much-needed vacation days.

Winter Wildlife Promotion Happening Now!

Visit Santa Cruz County is proud to announce the 2017 Winter Wildlife Watching Getaway Promotion by promoting off-season travel with these local lodging specials making it easier than ever for visitors to plan an overnight stay during December and January - critical off-season months for the tourism industry. Get onboard by using the hashtag #SCWhales or #SCWildlife on your social media channels!

Partner Profile Video

The Best Western Seacliff Inn and the Seymour Marine Discovery Center at Long Marine Lab are the latest local businesses to be featured in VSCC’s Partner Profile Video program!  

Catch the Early Bird Registration for Outlook Forum!

You have until December 15th to save $400 on registration for Visit California’s 2018 Outlook Forum, to be held February 14 – 15, 2018 at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Anaheim.   

Partner Kudos!

Assembly restaurant hosted a benefit for the Sonoma County Resilience Fund, to help in the recovery and rebuilding from the firestorm that ravaged Sonoma County in October.  One hundred percent  of the proceeds from the sale of Sante Adairius Rustic Ales’ Sonoma Pride beer were donated.  Delicious seasonal, locavore cuisine was crafted by Chef Jessica Yarr. Way to go!

Did You Know…

that Stagnaro Brothers is celebrating 80 years in business?  On November 29th, he landmark eatery rolled out its menu from 1937 – when you could enjoy a shrimp cocktail for less than $3.