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SEPTEMBER 26, 2017

Visit California Identifies Santa Cruz County as a Beautiful Destination

Through their partnership with Brand USA, Visit California has connected Visit Santa Cruz County with Beautiful Destinations – an award-winning creative agency behind the largest travel community on social media. Next month, the Beautiful Destinations team will visit Santa Cruz County to capture video content around an original road trip-themed series with content that will feature various destinations across the state as part of a “Local Stories, Big Dreams” platform. The focus is to inspire international travelers through a series of unique road trips featuring local experts and influencers.

VSCC is working with the Beautiful Destinations production team which is planning to visit the Santa Cruz area in October for production on this new global content series.  Centered around a family traveling to the Central Coast to capture the cultural and coastal lifestyle they’ve heard so much about on social media, the mom, dad, and daughter will fly into Mineta-San Jose International Airport and drive to Santa Cruz County, then continue on their journey to Monterey.  A social media distribution plan is being formulated by Visit California, which VSCC will leverage on its own channels.  More than 13.5 million people in 180 countries follow the agency on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to be inspired about the world. 


VSCC Attends Smart Meetings Trade Show

Working on behalf of lodging properties throughout the county, VSCC staff participated in Smart Meetings West in Dana Point September 10 – 12, 2017.  Designed to connect meeting planners with destinations and hotels from around the world, the three-day conference is an appointment-based trade show.  VSCC staff networked with over 100 meeting planners during the show and met with 25 planners during one-on-one appointments, raising awareness of what Santa Cruz County can offer in terms of conference and meeting venues and services

Over the course of three days industry speakers, one-on-one appointments, and focused networking opportunities were held.  According to Smart Meetings, 95% of planners have booked business with a property they met at a Smart Meeting event.  Smart Meetings is an organization which connects meeting planners with premier hotels and destinations through events, industry publication, webinars, and online and digital resources.


Santa Cruz County in the Broadcast Spotlight in September as Five Television Shows Come to Town

By the end of this month, five production crews – four from the UK – will have visited the Santa Cruz area to capture footage, interview VSCC partners, and film beaches, forests, and the unique flavor that makes our area so special. 

While in London for the Visit California Media Mission, VSCC staff had the opportunity to pitch story ideas to a producer from James Martin’s American Adventure:  a food, travel and lifestyle show airing on ITV. Hosted by James Martin, a British chef and television presenter, the show takes viewers on food and travel adventures around the U.S.  Captivated by the surfing culture and history Santa Cruz is known for, a production crew from Blue Marlin Television visited on September 6th to film a surfing lesson with Club Ed Surf School and Skyler the Surfing Dog, the Downtown Santa Cruz Farmer’s market, and other scenic spots around town.  The show is expected to debut in early 2018.

Following a meeting during the U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow (IPW) convention in Washington, D.C. in June, producers from Samantha Brown Media visited California destinations to feature on Samantha Brown’s Places to Love, a new travel series on PBS.  Focusing on Highway 1 to include Santa Cruz County, Monterey, and Big Sur, this segment has a projected air date of February 2018.  Benefitting from its partnership with Visit California, The Penny Ice CreameryNicholson Vineyards, and Santa Cruz’s surfing history and culture will all be featured.  Visit California and VSCC will be leveraging this exposure on their social media channels, so stay tuned!

Additionally, UK tour operator Trek America Travel, the longest running and most experienced small group operator for North America visited the area September 10 – 11 to film a promotional video about Santa Cruz County.  The crew interviewed John Bargetto at Bargetto Winery and Regan Vineyards in Corralitos, and captured establishing shots of local beaches and scenery.  The video will be distributed via Facebook on Trek America’s Grand American Adventures channel, boosted with a campaign designed to reach tens of thousands of potential visitors, combined with media relations efforts in the UK.

Also this month, Great American Railroad Journeys, an historical, travel-based television show whose host, Michael Portillo, travels around the US by train, filmed in Santa Cruz at Roaring Camp Railroads.  Club Ed Surf School, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and other points of interest around the county will all be featured.  

And Betty, a production company in the UK was in Santa Cruz on September 21 to film a three-part travel documentary series.  The project – to be broadcast on ITV - follows five well-loved British celebrities as they travel across California.

Share the Love for the Fall Festival Series!

VSCC’s Fall Festival Series is underway! Share the love by sharing this link on your e-newsletter or website.  Designed to increase visitors’ awareness of all the fall tourism season has to offer, this is the seventh year VSCC has launched this promotion. Click here for a free promotional flyer you can post! 

Let Us Promote Your Winter Lodging Special!

With the wealth of wintertime wildlife watching opportunities on the horizon, VSCC can help your property promote your off-season lodging special.  The Winter Wildlife Watching Getaway will kick off on Monday, November 13, 2017 and end on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.  Blackout dates and T&C’s are up to you!  Just complete the form found at this link no later than Monday, October 16, 2017.  Contact VSCC if you have any questions.

Get Involved with the 2018 Traveler’s Guide

Have you made plans to increase your exposure next year by advertising in VSCC’s 2018 Traveler’s Guide?  This annual publication is designed to deliver maximum exposure for your business – with the added benefit of public relations and social media support for partners!  Contact VSCC for information! 

Take the Small Business Survey!

Small Business California has launched its annual small business survey, targeted toward small business owners and executives throughout the state. The online survey will inform elected officials and policy makers about the issues that are most critical to small business owners in California.  This year’s survey incorporates questions about domestic affairs, including healthcare policies in California, and views on the general state economy.

Did You Know…

that mobile hotel bookings are on the rise with Gen X? Research is showing that major chain and independent hotels and online travel agencies have been improving their mobile apps and sites in recent years to keep up with the rise of mobile travel booking on devices such as smartphones.  According to a recent survey by Skift, 11.4 percent of female Gen X respondents said that they’ve booked a hotel on their smartphone numerous times over the past year, and this was the highest percentage of any age group for this option, and higher the overall average (7.8 percent).