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“No Fear” Innovation at Annual Tourism Summit

Oceanside CA-(Visit Oceanside) Visit Oceanside Conference and Visitors Bureau hosted its 4th annual Tourism Summit today at the new SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oceanside. Set to the theme of “No Fear, Innovate,” the event provided an opportunity to recognize city businesses helping to advance the visitor industry experience through forward thinking and innovative concepts. During the event, Visit Oceanside also presented its annual awards to outstanding industry partners, as well as its third annual Hospitality Scholarship to a MiraCosta College student.

“Oceanside has made great strides in modernizing and improving the visitor experience this year,” said Leslee Gaul, CEO of Visit Oceanside. “Through this summit, we not only wanted to recognize some of the outstanding efforts of our partners, but encourage others to step outside the box, push the limits and think creatively to solve problems and raise the bar in Oceanside.”

A few of the businesses recognized by Gaul as innovative thinkers included:

Cohen Restaurant Group for bringing fine dining to Oceanside with 333 Pacific.
Oceanside Museum of Art for expanding it’s 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 tea.

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, a Los Angeles-based agency specializing in Strategic Brand Development.

Tourism Awards

Visit Oceanside Award Winners from left: Gina Thomas, Jake Martinez, Tanya Chahal, Leslee Gaul, John Jasionowski

Visit Oceanside Award Winners from left: Gina Thomas, Jake Martinez,
Tanya Chahal, Leslee Gaul, John Jasionowski
(courtesy photo)

Visit Oceanside’s Tourism Summit concluded with the annual awards presentation to four outstanding industry partners and one college student. The 2014 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

“Each of our award recipients have gone above and beyond in helping to promote tourism in our city,” said Gaul. “They have used their sphere of influence to bring business to the community and be good partners so that everyone in the area can benefit. We are thankful for their service, sense of community and tireless dedication.”

About Visit Oceanside

Visit Oceanside Conference and Visitors Bureau is the official tourism marketing organization in Oceanside, Calif; promoting travel to the city for both leisure and group visitors. In 2013, Visit Oceanside booked over 10,000 room nights in group business and influenced over $61 million in leisure spending, which supports more than 750 tourism-related jobs. Visit Oceanside also operates one of the state’s official California Welcome Centers. With just one stop, visitors can find local, regional and state maps, purchase discount tickets to major Southern California attractions, make hotel reservations or shop for the perfect California keepsake. The Visit Oceanside CVB and California Welcome Center- Oceanside are conveniently located just off Interstate 5 at 928 North Coast Highway. For more information, please call (800)350-7873 or visit www.visitoceanside.org.

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