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March 8, 2018

VSCC Kicks Off Spring Marketing Campaign

Visit Santa Cruz County (VSCC) has launched its annual Let’s Cruz Spring Marketing Campaign!  This yearly promotion – which launched on March 1st – is an effort to entice visitors during the pre-season and get consumers thinking about their summer vacation.  The integrated campaign will include a television commercial, and a specialized social media component for 2018.

From now through May 31, 2018, Santa Cruz County fans who log on to can enter the Let’s Cruz Vacation Getaway Contest for a chance to win a two-night stay at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn and a package of activities which they can custom-tailor toward their travel preferences.  VSCC’s website is expected to receive 1 million visits this year.  The contest will also be integrated into VSCC’s social media channels and featured on Twitter, Facebook, and VSCC’s blog.  Weekly giveaways on Facebook will also take place throughout the campaign. 

The Grand Prize winner will be able to customize the vacation package with four activity choices, out of thirteen, including classes with Chris Johnson Glass, wine tasting at Bargetto Winery, and Nicholson Vineyards, a Craft Bar experience at Annieglass Studios, electric bike rentals from Current e-Bikes, stand-up paddleboard rental from Covewater Paddle, beer tasting a Lupulo Craft Beer House, kayaking with Kayak Connection, a tour and tasting at Venus Spirits, a $150 gift certificate to the Penny Ice Creamery, The Picnic Basket, and Assembly restaurant, a spa treatment at the Chaminade Resort & Spa, a whale watching excursion with Stagnaro Whale Watching, and a Mount Hermon Adventure Tour.

Tickets to Roaring Camp Railroads and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk will also be included in the main giveaway and weekly giveaways.  A special prize package will be promoted exclusively to the Boardwalk’s Big Kahuna Club members and Dogtrekker’s subscriber list.

VSCC’s “Let’s Cruz” commercial will be part of a major TV ad campaign focused on targeted drive markets in the Central Valley including Stockton, Modesto and Sacramento in addition to the San Francisco Bay area.  The contest will also be promoted through VSCC’s monthly visitor e-newsletter, targeted on-line marketing strategies, social media and web banner ads on various travel-related web sites.

The television and online marketing strategies will ensure strong regional exposure to potential travelers within targeted drive markets to Santa Cruz County. A print ad in the annual  special Santa Cruz county section of the San Francisco Chronicle with accompanying banner ad impression campaign on SF Gate website round out the efforts.

These marketing efforts are supported by the Tourism Marketing District.  The Let’s Cruz Vacation Getaway Contest is sponsored by Visit Santa Cruz County and the following partners: Annieglass Studios, Capitola BIA, Chaminade Resort & Spa, Dream Inn Santa Cruz, Pajaro Dunes Resort, and the Seascape Beach Resort.


Shadowbrook Restaurant Featured as a California #DreamEats Destination

The Dream continues in Santa Cruz County!  Chase Ramsey: The Dream Eater was launched two years ago by Visit California as a way to promote culinary tourism and engage social media followers, and recently, Capitola Village’s very own Shadowbrook restaurant was featured.

Filmed during Memorial Day Weekend in 2017, Shadowbrook was called out by social media fans and followers of @DreamEater as THE place to go in Santa Cruz County for award-winning dining and stellar ambiance.  A broadcast segment on Visit California’s Dream 365 You Tube channel accompanied social media posts by Dream Eater.  This “eatertainment” series from the state tourism board chronicles Chase’s travels and his 12,000 loyal followers on Instagram, Pinterest, and Visit California’s Dream 365 You Tube Channel, where you can follow him from plate to plate.

Visit California’s Dream Eater travels around the Golden State sampling the most popular menu items from restaurants sourced on his social media channels.   Where Dream Eater goes and which restaurants he visits is crowdsourced from active social media users.  During this crowdsourcing effort, fans, followers and foodies recommended Santa Cruz as a place that California Dream Eater should visit. 

Food lovers can continue to engage on social media following @VisitSantaCruzand @CaliforniaDreamEaterand sharing their pictures of food and drink on Instagram using #DreamEats and #SantaCruzNow.



Santa Cruz County Represented at European Travel Trade Event

Continuing to build momentum on the international travel front, VSCC will join Visit California in attending ITB March 7 - 11.  Geared toward the European travel trade market, ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse) is the world's largest tourism trade event. ITB attendees include hotels, DMOs, tour operators, airlines and car rental companies.  Germany has been identified by VSCC as the second largest inbound overseas market for Santa Cruz County. 

VSCC’s Laura Manriquez, Director of Sales and Marketing is representing Santa Cruz County at ITB, hailed as the “World's Largest Travel Trade Show”, along with an estimated 10,000 exhibitors and organizations from over 180 countries.  Approximately 110,000 members of the travel trade are expected to visit the 26 halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds set up for the event.  Over the five days of the show, 22 delegates from around the state will join Visit California staff in their travel trade show booth.  Following ITB, VSCC staff will provide in-office trainings to tour operators, educating them on the Santa Cruz County so they can promote the area as a destination to vacation planners throughout Germany.  Participation in ITB is part of VSCC’s overall international marketing programs, supported by the Tourism Marketing District, which are designed to expand Santa Cruz County’s presence in the international market and exposure with key tour operators abroad.


Partner kudos

Congratulations to the Chardonnay II, which now has a twin sister!  The Chardonnay III has a capacity of 35 passengers, and will be used for charter sails and teambuilding. Get onboard!

Pennies for Parks

Round up your purchases to the next dollar and support California State Parks’ education, visitor services and capital projects when shopping at Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks gift shops!  This Pennies for Parks program is active at Park Stores at Natural Bridges, New Brighton, Santa Cruz Mission, Seacliff and Wilder Ranch.  Want to check out some of the merchandise beforehand? Click here!    

Places to Love in Santa Cruz County!

Get ready to view The Penny Ice Creamery and Nicholson Vineyards on Samantha Brown’s Places to Love on PBS which is scheduled to air on March 8thHere is a teaser! VSCC worked with Samantha Brown and her team and our partners to bring this content to the airwaves.

Visit California Outlook Forum a Success!

The California tourism industry met February 14 – 15 for the 10th annual Visit California Outlook Forum in Anaheim.  Three dozen program speakers and panelists over two days ensured that the 600 attendees received updates from Visit California's 13 international offices, and heard presentations from Visit California President & CEO Caroline Beteta, U.S. Travel Association President & CEO Roger Dow, Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier, and others.  The flagship conference came to a close at the Poppy Awards hosted by California Dream Eater Chase Ramsey.  For highlights of this year’s conference, click here! 

Did You Know...

that San Jose is the latest city to be included in Alaska Airlines’ Wine Flies Free program?  Now, the airline’s Mileage Plan members flying out of Mineta-San Jose International Airport to experience the Santa Cruz Mountains Appellation and local wineries can check an entire case – up to 12 bottles of wine – for free!  San Jose joins 28 other cities in California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington state which are already onboard with this program!