The Travel Forecast

March 10, 2023

Santa Cruz County Represented at Go West Summit

VSCC Sales and Marketing Director Flavia Oliveira returned from Anchorage, Alaska after meeting with internationally-based tour operators and wholesalers and domestic tour and receptive operators at the annual Go West Summit, which took place February 27th – March 2nd. The trade show connects Santa Cruz County with the re-emerging, growing international travel marketplace.

Over four days, top international tour operators and specialty suppliers from destinations, resorts, and attractions in the western United States met during pre-scheduled one-on-one appointments. Flavia met with 36 operators representing the UK, Canada, Germany, Japan, France, China, The Netherlands, Italy, and Argentina.

Some industry analysts expect that the U.S. will welcome 2.4 million visitors into the country over the next 18 months. VSCC continues to reactivate international promotional efforts as overseas airlift is increasing and routes are being reestablished, most recently with ZipAir’s nonstop flight from Tokyo into San Jose Mineta International Airport.

Childhood Rules in Santa Cruz County

Visit California’s newest global campaign, Childhood Rules, has launched, and two key locations in Santa Cruz County are featured prominently in a televised commercial. Following technical scouting in August 2022 and shooting in late September, the piece is already hitting the market after a debut screening during Outlook Forum in Sacramento.

The ad concepts feature kids catching their parents embracing their childhood spirit and the whole family getting in on the fun together. The Sea Swings at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the redwood loop trail at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park were the settings, used to illustrate the general concept of the campaign: showcasing iconic California points of interest but reminding consumers of “the beyond” – featuring creative touchpoints that will an emotional connection with the viewer and make the product the hero.

The commercial is divided into three parts and also includes the following destinations and points of interest: San Diego, Universal Studios, horseback riding on Pismo Beach, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Sea World, Disneyland, Sensorio, LACMA, and ziplines and treehouses in Sonoma County.

Childhood Rules is the sixth state tourism commercial project to include Santa Cruz County specifically. Visit Santa Cruz County has enjoyed a close partnership with Visit California, hosting several commercial shoots over the years. Most recently, Am I Dreaming,  was filmed at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and in the San Lorenzo Valley in December 2022. The spot debuted during the Super Bowl LVI pregame programming on Sunday, February 13th, 2022. 

In 2013 Visit California launched the Dream Big Initiative with the first Dreamers campaign shooting at the Walton Lighthouse at the Santa Cruz Harbor. Visit California targeted the family market with Kids at Play which featured Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and the forest at Mount Hermon Conference Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains. These spots were followed by Living the Dream, filmed at Davenport Beach, and Kidifornia, filmed at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. In 2017 Dreameater, a Visit California restaurant-focused YouTube series with a social media component, highlighted Shadowbrook restaurant – which celebrated its 75th anniversary last fall. 

Update Your Business Listing Information

One of the benefits VSCC extends to local retail shops, restaurants, and attractions is the opportunity to be featured on, which enjoys 1 million visitors a year and is a key component of VSCC’s marketing and promotional programs. The free listings on feature a 300-word description and can include up to six images of businesses.  Hours of operation, information, phone number, URL, and other information are all included in the listing. Local businesses have complete control over the information in their listing.

Through the VSCC Extranet Portal, partners have the ability to update or revise their listing information and add, change out, or update images at any time. For the purposes of SEO, it is recommended that business descriptions contain 300 words to maximize their online presence during internet searches so visitors can more easily find them on the web.

If you are a VSCC partner and have not already done so, you may update your information via the VSCC Extranet Portal. The portal will require you to enter your email address and password; if you don’t remember your password or have misplaced it, you can request a new password to gain access to your listing information.

Even if you have already logged in and updated your information, we encourage you to revisit your listing a few times a year as information changes or photography is updated. As a reminder, we use your contact information to provide you with partner and industry updates and your listing information to promote your organization on
Should you have any questions, please email VSCC and we can assist you!

Register for the CHLA Legislative Action Summit

The lodging industry is invited to gather with colleagues from around California on March 21st to learn about the most pressing issues facing hoteliers and visit with their local Assembly and Senate representatives to discuss key policy measures. Hosted by CHLA, this event will be preceded by the California Marriott Business Councils’ Annual Legislative Reception, co-sponsored by CHLA, Visit Sacramento, and Marriott Governmental Affairs, on the evening of March 20th at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento. Click here to learn more.

CalTravel Seeking Nominations

Interested in serving in a leadership position with the California Travel Association? CalTravel is seeking At-Large Board Members, Executive Committee Directors and Committee Chairs. Nominate yourself or someone else (with their permission) through Friday, April 21st. Click here to learn more about leadership criteria and to view the online form.  

Partner News

The UCSC Arboretum and Botanic Garden was the setting for the California Watchable Wildlife’s photo of the year. Shravan Sundaram of Santa Clara captured an Allen’s hummingbird defending his flower patch at the arboretum, which is one of his favorite places to shoot. Interested in experiencing local wildlife? Click here to download a digital version of VSCC’s Wildlife Guide!

Did you know……

The County of Santa Cruz’s Emergency Operations Center is now open as a new atmospheric river is upon us. Additionally, a website has launched so county residents can stay informed about road conditions, power outages and preparedness tips. The county EOC is reminding those in communities in low-lying areas to be ready to evacuate quickly if necessary, as flash flooding is possible. Last week Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency in 13 counties due to winter storms, and Wednesday proclaimed a state of emergency to support storm response and relief efforts in an additional 21 regions including Santa Cruz County.

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