• Strategic Partnerships Play a Key Role in the Success of Local Tourism

    The Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau actively works to support local tourism through a strategic marketing plan targeting out-of-area visitors. The City of Santa Maria’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) generated over $3.4 million in total receipts in the 2018/2019 fiscal year (FY). Although we use TOT to gauge the success of local tourism there are many key performance indicators that convey the economic impact of local tourism. 

    With a global marketing plan that is constantly shifting and changing, Visit California has become a significant partner to the Santa Maria Valley tourism program.  Additionally, through the partnership with the Central Coast Tourism Council (CCTC), Santa Maria Valley continues to work to stay front-of-mind in a congested market space. 

    Detailed statewide travel impacts estimate that California saw $140.6 billion in travel-related spending which translates to 1.2 million travel related jobs and $11.8 billion in state and local tax revenue. Utilizing the platforms afforded to us through our relationship with Visit California and CCTC we’ve had an opportunity to amply our voice through programs like Restaurant Month and Craft Cocktail Contest, the Santa Maria Wine Trolley, event listings, media events and familiarization trips, content submissions and far more. These yearly collaborations with Visit California and CCTC are meant to bring traffic and awareness to the Santa Maria Valley.

    The Visitors Bureau annually publishes a series of print pieces that can be used by visitors or potential visitors to research our area, plan their trip, and discover the many activities, events, and services that exist to make a visit to the Santa Maria Valley a unique and rewarding experience. Tourism collateral pieces are distributed at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, at local hotels and tourism related businesses, public agencies, and other high traffic areas around the community. 

    Additionally, the Visitors Bureau places Visitors Guides in California Welcome Centers located in Pismo Beach and Merced. Welcome Centers are Visit California’s concierge service and are found in high traffic communities with locations throughout the state. Our marketing brochure is distributed at nearly 700 locations in the San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley and Bakersfield regions. 

    Travel and tourism are one of America’s largest industries and one that is growing in importance in our community and region. Our Visitor Center is open five days a week and provides assistance to visitors, groups and event planners. To ensure information is available 24/7, the Visitors Bureau distributes visitor information from a variety of places throughout Santa Maria Valley and offers information online through a new visitor website, barbecue blog, association listings, and visibility on social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, a YouTube Channel, and Flickr.

    If you are interested in partnership opportunities available through the Santa Maria Chamber tourism program please contact Jennifer Harrison, jennifer@santamaria.com.