Tourism Summit Inspires “No Fear” and Innovation
On Thursday, May 8, 2014 the Visit Oceanside Conference and Visitors Bureau held its 4th annual Tourism Summit at the new SpringHill Suites by Marriott in downtown Oceanside. Set to the theme of “No Fear, Innovate,” the event provided an opportunity to recognize local businesses helping to advance the visitor experience through forward thinking and innovative concepts.
To kick-off the Tourism Summit, a video was created to showcase innovative businesses and concepts on a local and global scale.
Local businesses recognized in the video as innovative thinkers included:
- Cohn Restaurant Group for brining fine dining to Oceanside with 333 Pacific.
- Oceanside Museum of Art for expanding its community reach with the on-going Art After Dark program and new Art Walk Fridays that will start in August.
- Coola Suncare for being an industry pioneer in organic sunscreen.
- Bagby Beer Company for taking over a defunct car dealership on Coast Highway and creating a flagship craft brew experience in Oceanside.
- Succulent Café for partnering eco-friendly art and design with an outdoor café specializing in unique, high quality coffees and teas.
Attendees were welcomed with opening remarks from Visit Oceanside Chairman of the Board, Geoffrey Parkford, followed by City of Oceanside Mayor, Jim Wood.
Soon after, Visit Oceanside President and CEO, Leslee Gaul, gave her State of Tourism address sharing industry trends, growth within the TOT since the organizations establishment in 2010 and shared a video showcasing sales and marketing highlights from the past year.
One of the most exciting moments of the event is when Visit Oceanside presented awards to those who have gone above and beyond to promote tourism in Oceanside, as well as presenting the annual Hospitality Scholarship to a MiraCosta College student.
The 2014 award and scholarship recipients included:
- Hospitality Partner of the Year: Jake Martinez, Caltrans
- Industry Partner of the Year: Joe Chapon, QLN Conference Center
- Local Champion Award: Gina Thomas, Ironman California 70.3
- Volunteer of the Year: John Jasionowski, California Welcome Center- Oceanside
- Visit Oceanside Hospitality Scholarship: Tanya Chahal, MiraCosta College student
Keynote speaker Sasha Strauss helped to further the innovation conversation by speaking on the importance of brand management and how to leverage the community’s personality to become a leading Southern California destination. Strauss is a founder of Innovation Protocol, an LA based agency specializing in Strategic Brand Development.
The Oceanside Tourism Summit is coordinated in partnership with the City of Oceanside Economic Development Department.
Media Coverage of the Oceanside Tourism Summit
> The Coast News, May 13, 2014: Tourism Summit Kicks Off Summer Visitor Season