Tourism marketing a team effort

Sometimes you just have to give an atta-boy and oversized thank you to all who help.

With tourism Morro Bay’s top industry, the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center is expected to perform. CEO Peter Candela connected with the Bay Area Travel Writers Association to showcase Morro Bay’s fall weather and diverse bayside activities.

President Diane Lebow and Membership Chairman Tom Wilmer hand-picked writers and photographers who submit to diverse publications with worldwide audiences.

Wilmer and I acted as local guides to Emma and Yuri Krasov, Teresa and Tim Williamson, John Montgomery, Lee Nelson and Lebow.

Candela organized a tour jammed with information, experiences and first-rate hospitality adjacent to the first Photography Expo.

“I couldn’t have done it without the businesses who stepped forward,” he said.

When asked what was missing, Lebow said, “More time to do all the suggestions on Peter’s list.”

Orientation included Morro Bay Mud Fudge and Morro Creek avocados. Then sommelier John Nordhus showcased Central Coast wines at Morro Bay Wine Sellers, followed by an incredible dinner hosted by Windows on the Water.

The Morro Bay cod was to die for. Tognazzini’s Dockside didn’t disappoint when it served barbecued oysters and what Lebow said was the best fresh fish anywhere. Beach House Bistro and The Orchid at the Inn at Morro Bay demonstrated unique ambiance with exceptional cuisine and service.

Breakfasts came early, hosted by the Coffee Pot and Frankie and Lola’s. Their delicious food and interesting stories were worth getting up for.

Walking to Morro Rock, Candela shared history and beach vistas before introducing Bob, who monitors the daily activities of the peregrine falcons living seaside at the Rock.

On cue, the photographers snapped shots of the female taking flight in search of food then regally perching to protect her nest.

Pleasant Journey, next to Harbor Hut, introduced our guests to Hobie pedal kayaks.

We discovered that Morro Bay Oyster Company has exported about 200,000 oysters so far in 2009.

We also experienced the changing moods of Morro Bay — warm and calm for Neil Mahoney’s story motoring to the estuary-based oyster farm and breezy enough returning to drench Candela and new friends.

Sub-Sea Tours shared some fishing industry insights and underwater surprises. And first-rate accommodations were provided by El Morro Masterpiece and La Serena.

With apologies to all who offered to help, Candela said, “We’re doing another tour in April. There’s just too much to do in Morro Bay.”

Now we wait to see what the writers write and who will bring cash.

Reach Judy Salamacha at salamacha@yahoo.com or 801-1422.