Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the marketing company partnering with Visit San Luis Obispo County; it's Catalyst Marketing Company, based in the Central Valley.
With the goal of making San Luis Obispo County a preferred tourist destination, Visit San Luis Obispo County, a countywide marketing agency, has partnered with a Central Valley marketing group to help in its promotion efforts.
The move to team up with Catalyst Marketing Company comes a month after the formation of a countywide tourism marketing district. The district, effective July 1, levies a 1 percent assessment on all overnight rental fees in the county.
The funds from the tourism marketing district helps Visit SLO County expand its marketing budget, and it is allocating nearly $3.4 million in the first year to spend on promotion.
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The agency also has a new board of directors and marketing committee, charged with launching a new marketing district plan this fall. The plan includes increasing outreach to potential visitors and spending in slower, off-peak months.
As well, Visit San Luis Obispo County is investing in two research studies. The first will look at current visitor demographics and the purchasing power of those visitors; the second will be an "awareness study" to better understand why some people in feeder markets decide to travel to the area or choose another destination instead.
“We have a big goal to increase demand and market share over the next several years, especially during the slower travel season,” said Chuck Davison, president and CEO of Visit San Luis Obispo County, in a release issued by the organization. “It’s important that we align our programs with the needs of our constituents, giving them necessary support starting with the off-peak season.”
The initial phase focuses on advertising in key feeder markets, including the Bay Area, Southern California and the Central Valley. In the future, the campaign will extend to regional and international markets through partnerships with Visit California and Brand USA, according to Visit San Luis Obispo County.
Visit San Luis Obispo County also recently announced the new Board of Directors and Marketing Committee:
- Kevin Phipps, Embassy Suites, San Luis Obispo (chair)