The Travel Forecast

April 16, 2019

VSCC Staff Attend DMA West Tech Summit

The Destination Marketing Association of the West gathered in Albuquerque, NM from March 20 – March 22 for its annual Tech Summit. During the three days of labs, vendor showcases, and educational sessions; VSCC’s Social Media Strategist Rachel Endsley, Online Marketing Director Daryl Zape, and Marketing Communications Coordinator Marina Drab joined representatives from other destination marketing organizations as well as the industry’s leading experts to talk about what’s new in all things digital marketing and social media.

The conference focused on rising trends in the digital marketing industry. Labs focused on the art of storytelling specifically for a destination, becoming more relatable to an audience through social media efforts and how to reach international travelers more effectively. Over thirty destinations were represented at the three day summit. DMA West ended with a strong message for destinations to continue exploring digital media efforts and to embrace the winds of change in the ever-growing age of social media expansion.

VSCC staff returned with valuable tools to use toward frequently used platforms as well as ways to assist partners in growing their own online presence.

Partners Mapped Our for 2019

Visit Santa Cruz County announces the fifth edition of VSCC’s Santa Cruz County full-color, two-sided map, featuring display ads from local partner businesses.  This easy-to-read 8 ½ x 17-inch map showcases the entire county, and includes an exclusive distribution of 62,500 copies throughout the area. 

The map is distributed at the Visit Santa Cruz County year-around Visitor Center and at hotels and motels throughout Santa Cruz County, local rental car agencies, and other key locations.

Distribution of the map will officially begin the week before Memorial Day –  the start of the high-trafficked summer season. Thanks to the 22 advertising businesses that supported this program!  New display map partners include  Adventure Out, Main Street Realtors, Martinelli’s,Nicholson Vineyards, Roaring Camp Railroads, and Soquel Vineyards

Fourth Annual Micro-Business Summit Set for May

On Friday, May 3rd, local small businesses will have the opportunity to learn how to navigate the marketplace to increase exposure, grow their businesses and boost profitability at the fourth annual 82% Micro-Business Summit.    

Kicking off this year’s National Small Business Week, May 5 – 11, the all-day conference will be hosted by Cabrillo College and will feature a keynote speaker and breakout sessions.  The event is limited to 240 attendees and is geared toward small business owners.  Click here to register online.  The $49 registration fee includes admission to all sessions, breakfast, lunch and reception. Updated information can be found by “Liking” the event’s Facebook page.  “82%: A Micro-Business Summit” was created by the County Office for Economic DevelopmentSanta Cruz County Small Business Development Center, The Root Group, Slingshot SV and Andersen Media & Communications.  This year’s sponsors include Kaiser Permanente, KSCO, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, Lighthouse Bank, Santa Cruz County Bank and several others.

Lodging Meet and Greet Reminder!

VSCC staff will be conducting “Lodging Meet and Greet” visits with all TMD members on Tuesday, May 14th.  During these personal visits, VSCC staff will distribute visitor information and collateral materials prior to the start of the summer season.  We’ll see you soon!

Save the Date for Workforce Development Board Event

Through a local partnership with Visit Santa Cruz County, the Santa Cruz County Workforce Development Board is seeking participation from the Tourism and Hospitality sector to identify workforce needs and to develop solutions to address the challenge of finding and retaining workers. BW Research has been hired to develop a report that will identify local challenges and opportunities, quantify the tourism/hospitality sector’s current and future economic impact, identify the most in-demand jobs and recognize the universal value of skills obtained by hospitality/tourism workers.  These findings will be shared with the public during a special event on June 27th.  The Workforce Development Board and its partners plan to use the report’s findings to develop new programs and strategies designed to meet the needs of local businesses.  The event will take place Thursday, June 27th at 10:00AM at the Seacliff Inn Best Western.  Watch a future Travel Forecast for details!

Arrivals and Departures

Goodbye to Michelle Williams, Executive Director of Arts Council Santa Cruz County, who will be leaving her position in June.  She also served on the VSCC Board of Directors. Michelle will be missed!  Welcome Monique Graziadei Clifton, new General Manager of the Hyatt Place Santa Cruz, and to Cheir Harty, new Director of Sales at the Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley Hilton!

Countdown to IPW

VSCC staff is gearing up for the U.S. Travel Association’s annual IPW Travel Trade show in Anaheim June 1st – 5th.  Continuing the momentum VSCC has gained with travel trade and media relations efforts abroad, participation in IPW is critical to maintaining an international presence for Santa Cruz County as a travel destination. As always, this platform is a critical touch-point for destinations to connect with international buyers and media from more than 70 countries around the world. With approximately 1,500 buyers and 120,000 appointments in three days, the impact of IPW is significant.  Following IPW, Santa Cruz County will host 30 international media and tour operators from nearly a dozen countries on a Visit California Bay or Bust fam tour.  Stay tuned for more information!


that the Hotel Paradox is partnering with Yoso Wellness, the Coastal Watershed Council, and Save Our Shores with support by the City of Santa Cruz Economic Development and Downtown Association for “Bridging the Gap – River Beautification – from Bridge to Bridge” on April 26th from 2P – 4P.  This season’s heavy rains have caused litter to be washed down to the lower San Lorenzo River and beaches. This litter cleanup event will conclude with a gathering at The Hotel Paradox to weigh trash collected, award volunteers raffle prizes, followed by a happy hour. 

For more information, email Melissa Begin with The Hotel Paradox at: