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May 9, 2017

Visit Santa Cruz County

VSCC Targets Long-Haul Travelers with New Creative Assets for Local $849 Million Tourism Industry

Coinciding with new economic impact figures from the state tourism agency and new hotel inventory debuting, VSCC announces the release of a promotional video, targeting a growing international market and supporting a $849 million local tourism industry. Designed with long-haul travelers in mind, the video illustrates the ease of flying into Mineta-San José International Airport (SJC), experiencing San José and Silicon Valley, and visiting nearby Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties.

Visit Santa Cruz County is one-third of a tri-county collaboration including Team San José, and the Monterey County CVB, which was formed last year to showcase the region to international visitors by establishing a direct connection to key target markets. The regional collaborative was formed in part to support the additional international airlift routes into SJC and an anticipated 25% increase in hotel inventory in Santa Cruz County. The video will be distributed through e-newsletters, posted on VSCC’s You Tube Channel, provided to media and trade representatives and UK agency Black Diamond, and shown during appointments at IPW 2017, taking place in Washington, D.C. June 3 – 7, 2017. These expanded international marketing efforts are supported in Santa Cruz County by the Tourism Marketing District. The revenues from the assessment provide a needed boost for the current countywide tourism marketing budget, including promotion of Santa Cruz County as a destination to international visitors.

Visit Santa Cruz County

Visit California Namechecks Santa Cruz a California #DreamEats Destination

Talk about Living the Dream in Santa Cruz! This happy, healthy Central Coast town was hailed by Visit California as a #DreamEats destination. The Dream Eater program was launched two years ago by Visit California to promote culinary tourism, and as a way to engage social media followers of Chase Ramsey: the Dream Eater.

A TV segment will accompany social media posts while Dream Eater is in Santa Cruz to visit two local eateries, both of which were selected by popular demand. 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 crowd-sourced from active social media users. During this crowd-sourcing effort, fans, followers and foodies recommended Santa Cruz as a place that California Dream Eater should visit.

Locally, this California Culinary Ambassador will be visiting Shadowbrook restaurant and the Saturn Café in downtown Santa Cruz on Friday, May 26th – both eateries favorites of social media fans and followers. A film crew will be on site to capture his impressions of both places and the menu items he samples.

Launched in 2016, this new “eatertainment” series from the state tourism board chronicles Chase’s travels and his 12,000 loyal followers on Instagram, Pinterest, and on Visit California’s Dream 365 You Tube Channel can follow him from plate to plate.

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

Visit Santa Cruz County has enjoyed a close partnership with Visit California, hosting four commercial film shoots, the latest of which were launched in 2017: Living the Dream and Kidifornia, filmed at Davenport Beach and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, respectively.

Kidfornia Debut

The Lost Boys Promotion Kicks off in June

As the 30th anniversary of The Lost Boys approaches, VSCC is bringing a little nostalgia to the beach this summer. A new locations map outlines where key scenes were filmed some three decades ago, enabling fans of the cult classic to relive their teenage vampire fantasies – in a family-friendly way - while experiencing Santa Cruz County with a new perspective. The map, available in a mobile format as well as a flyer, was produced by the Santa Cruz County Film Commission, a department within Visit Santa Cruz County.

Designed to enhance the visitor experience for fans of The Lost Boys who come to the VSCC visitor center asking for information about the film, the movie location map reacquaints longtime fans of the film and introduces it to a newer generation, to coincide with the anniversary and the free screening of the movie, on Wednesday, June 21st at 9pm, at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s summer movie series.

The free map – available to download on – features nine locations throughout the area where key scenes were filmed.

A social media promotion will launch on June 1st. Followers of Visit Santa Cruz on Facebook can enter to win a prize package consisting of a Lost Boys DVD, stylish O’Neill beach blanket, Lost Boys comic book series, Blood Orange sparkling cider from Martinelli’s Company Store, and goodies from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Lost Boys fans can engage with Visit Santa Cruz on social media by following @VisitSantaCruz on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #VisitSantaCruz and #SantaCruzNow.

Lodging Meet-and-Greets Planned This Month

VSCC staff is personally visiting nearly 100 lodging properties throughout the county, distributing visitor information and collateral material prior to the start of the summer season. We’ll see you on Wednesday, May 24th!

Mark Your Calendars for State of the City Event

On Tuesday, May 23rd, the City of Santa Cruz will host the second annual State of the City Report from 8:30AM - 10AM at the Hotel Paradox. Mayor Cynthia Chase, City Manager Martin Bernal, and city department heads will update attendees on city achievements, challenges, and initiatives to strengthen Santa Cruz as a place to do business. Click here to RSVP online. The $15 registration fee will include a continental breakfast.

Scotts Valley Performing Arts Center Planned

The Scotts Valley Community Theater Guild is supporting plans to build a Performing Arts Center for the area. The planned center expects to host approximately 400 events a year with musicals, plays, recitals, classes, workshops, speakers, and more on tap. The guild will host a fundraiser on Friday, June 2nd to support this endeavor.

Partner Kudos + News

Congratulations to Shadowbrook's Ted Burke, who was awarded the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau’s 2017 Al Smith Friend of Agriculture Award! The City of Watsonville has debuted a new website and logo. And, Assembly restaurant and Soif restaurant and wine bar are both now featuring craft cocktails using locally-produced Venus Spirits! Stop by for a summertime libation!

Did You Know…

that according to a new report from AAA, more than one third of American families are planning to take a trip in the next year? The report indicates that searches related to family travel spike in April, during pre-season planning, and reach their peak in early summer. Click here to read more!