The Travel Forecast

October 14, 2020

Travelzoo Hotel Promotions Wanted

As the local tourism industry moves past the summer season, VSCC is focusing on promoting fall travel targeting our core regional drive market emphasizing safe, affordable travel to Santa Cruz County. Lodging discounts are central to this effort, highlighting special values and incentives to entice visitors to plan their trip, and to choose Santa Cruz over the myriad of other destinations that will be vying for their business. VSCC is partnering with Travelzoo to maximize exposure and reach.  Here is how you can get involved:

Hotel partners are encouraged to offer lodging specials that will entice visitors, such as three-nights-for-the-price-of-two, or a 30% mid-week discount offer. Travel specials will be promoted through the Travelzoo website and a dedicated landing page on Various other digital efforts are designed for fall and winter travel through the end of February 2021 – the goal being to capture shoulder season traffic as well as to encourage visitors as we enter the colder months. VSCC encourages properties to extend flexible cancellation policies based on current industry trends. Blackout dates and terms and conditions are up to each property. 

VSCC welcomes your involvement in this campaign. Please confirm your participation with Chuck Ryder, Sales and Marketing Director by October 30. 

VSCC Free Partner Opportunity: Call for Content Winter 2020

A critical component of VSCC’s year-round public relations program is based on information and story ideas received from its partners. Media outreach, including leveraging relationships with journalists, participating in media events hosted by Visit California, fielding media inquiries on a weekly basis, and proactively pitching story ideas to qualified media contacts are components that make up this robust program. One tool VSCC uses for these efforts is CruzNews, a digital and print publication featuring Santa Cruz County travel-related news, information, and story ideas specific to VSCC partners. It is distributed quarterly to qualified travel, lifestyle, and consumer media outlets and representatives. These media relations efforts are an added benefit of VSCC partner involvement with us and are complimentary. Here’s how you can get involved:

Beginning this fall, and continuing on a quarterly basis, VSCC will send out a Call for Content email to partners to collect news-worthy items for the purpose of media outreach, story pitching, and to be shared internally for consideration across Visit Santa Cruz County’s owned online and social media channels. 

VSCC is currently looking for content ideas for the winter 2020 edition, which will be published in early January and submissions are being accepted through Friday, November 13.

Information on openings of new attractions, restaurants, new menu items, wine tasting rooms, state park trails or education programs, new art exhibits or installations, and large-scale renovations or construction taking place at attractions or hotels are some ideas. News about events are not useful for this type of project.  If you have events to submit to VSCC, please use our online event submission form.  

For more information on VSCC’s Call for Content program, contact Christina Glynn, Communications Director. 

Downtown Santa Cruz Launches “Shop Local for the Holidays” Campaign

“Shop Santa Cruz 2020,” a project of the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz – in partnership with the City of Santa Cruz Economic Development Department – is now in full swing. The campaign is designed to promote holiday shopping in response to the severe economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Local businesses are heavily reliant on visitor traffic during the summer season. In a normal year, visitors will spend over $1 billion in Santa Cruz County, over half of that in non-lodging purchases. Although amended openings have meant shops, restaurants, and some attractions are able to operate in a limited capacity, the resulting unemployment for locals – in particular for families – traditionally employed in the hospitality and ag industries has had dire effects. “Shop Santa Cruz 2020” encourages community members to shop for the holidays early and often in-person and online to help support locally-owned shops.

Downtown shops and restaurants offer a safe environment with social distancing guidelines in place. Shoppers can make purchases in-store, through curbside pickup, and online at many locations. New businesses have also continued to launch in Downtown Santa Cruz, in spite of the current economy. The Downtown has welcomed the recent opening of several new businesses. For a full list of Downtown Santa Cruz businesses including where to shop, click here.

ERC County Blueprint Status Report

The weekly County Blueprint Status Report related to COVID-19 in Santa Cruz County is available for the week of October 13th in English and Spanish. These updates are provided by the Economic Recovery Council of Santa Cruz County (ERC). Information from the ERC aligns with state and county health officials, Governor Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, and SAVE Lives Santa Cruz County

Take the Safety Pledge!

Commit to practicing safe personal protocols with VSCC’s Let’s Cruz Safely campaign. This campaign is designed to promote the idea that wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, and washing your hands are critical steps to keep our community healthy and restarting our Santa Cruz County economy. VSCC has Safety Pledge posters available for your business – let us know if you need some. Or, download flyers, posters, and social media graphics to use here

Let’s All Go to the Movies!

The Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Carpool Movie Night at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on Sunday, October 18th at 6PM. This family-friendly drive-in movie event will feature the animated film Surf’s Up and is sponsored in part by the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Santa Cruz Dream Inn, and Santa Cruz County Bank. Tickets can be purchased in advance until Friday, October 16th at 4PM here and will also be sold at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Public Invited to Comment on Coastal Rail Trail Segment Project

As Caltrans begins to prepare drafting an Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment for the Highway 1 Auxiliary Lanes and Bus-on-Shoulder Project and Coastal Rail Trail Segment 12 Project, the public is invited to an online open house to provide comments about the effort. Through October 18, interested parties may visit the open house to learn more about the approximately 2.7 miles of Highway 1 between Freedom Boulevard and State Park Drive. The proposed project will include the reconstruction of two railroad bridges over Highway 1 and the construction of Segment 12 of the Coastal Rail Trail, approximately 1.25 miles in length, from Rio Del Mar Boulevard to State Park Drive.Written comments may also be mailed to: Lara Bertaina, Senior Environmental Planner, Caltrans, District 5, 50 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93401; or emailed to her

Did you know……

thatthe federal deadline for individual assistance and small business assistance for those impacted by the CZU Lightning Complex fires has been extended to November 21, 2020? And the Small Business Administration has established a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center to help homeowners and renters. Call 800.659.2955 seven days a week from 5AM to 5PM or email the agency. Representatives are available to assist business owners and individuals with SBA’s disaster loan program and application process.  Information on the CZU Lightning Complex fire recovery process including rebuilding, hazards and cleanup, as well as links to helpful resources, are all housed here

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