News Release
Contact: Jennifer Sweeney, Visit California
916-233-0255 jsweeney@visitcalifornia.com


For Immediate Release

VISIT CALIFORNIA BESTOWS EXCELLENCE IN TOURISM MARKETING AWARDS TO INDUSTRY'S BEST AND BRIGHTEST PROGRAMS


(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) Feb. 24, 2012 - Visit California honored statewide destinations and attractions this week for outstanding tourism advertising, marketing and public relations programs.

"Outstanding marketing programs like these are a big part of the reason that California is the leading tourism destination in the U.S.," said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California and Vice Chair of Brand USA. "We bestow the Tourism Marketing Awards to celebrate California's innovative, creative spirit and raise the bar for travel marketing statewide and beyond. Congratulations to the winners and finalists whose ingenuity and hard work inspire our industry and visitors worldwide."

Beteta presented the 2012 California Excellence in Tourism Marketing Awards during the Visit California Outlook Forum, held Feb. 21-23 in Sacramento and attended by hundreds of industry leaders and marketing professionals. A panel of industry marketing experts selected winners in eight categories, from top public relations and social media campaigns to best visitors guide and ads for print, radio and TV.

New this year were the "Best Integrated Marketing Campaign" and "Best International Marketing Campaign" awards, given respectively to the San Francisco Travel Association for their "49 Hours of San Francisco Arts & Culture Campaign" and the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau for their "British Airways' New Flight to San Diego Campaign."

The 2012 California Tourism Marketing Excellence Awards Winners Are:


Best Integrated Marketing Campaign

San Francisco Travel Association - 49 Hours of San Francisco Arts & Culture Campaign

Best International Marketing Campaign

San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau - British Airways' New Flight to San Diego Campaign

Best Broadcast Advertisement - Radio
SeaWorld California - Turtle Reef Open Now Radio Spot

Best Broadcast Advertisement- TV

California Academy of the Sciences - Let the Wonder Begin TV Spot

Best Print Advertisement

Mental Marketing/TJA Advertising for the San Luis Obispo Visitors & Conference Bureau - California's Natural Escape BID Co-op

Best Public Relations Campaign

McCue Marketing Communications for Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association - Temecula Valley leverages "California Wine Month" to Increase Tourism, Funding, and Affinity among Wine Lovers

Best Visitors Guide
San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau - San Luis Obispo County

Best Social Media

Yosemite/ Mariposa County Tourism Bureau - Yosemite Nation

Visit California is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs - in partnership with the state's travel industry - that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. According to Visit California, travel and tourism expenditures total $95.1 billion annually in California (18 percent of which is international), support jobs for 873,000 Californians and generate $6.1 billion in state and local tax revenues. For more information about Visit California and for a free California Visitor's Guide, go to www.VisitCalifornia.com.