Those who promote tourism in Santa Barbara will now work under the organization title Visit Santa Barbara, replacing a much more cumbersome Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission.
The name is easier to remember, better states the organization’s mission and coincides with the launch of new, strategically planned tourism advertising efforts, officials said.
Visit Santa Barbara announced the name change and its revamped marketing plan Thursday during a launch party for hospitality industry guests, city officials and others at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum.
The event celebrated a year’s worth of strategizing to modernize the organization’s brand in a relevant, meaningful way.
“As the tourism industry evolves, travelers become savvier and hospitality partners look to a united voice to represent the destination, it was time for us to update our brand image to align with these trends,” President/CEO Kathy Janega-Dykes said. “Visit Santa Barbara concisely conveys what we do, and the new mark evokes the romantic and long-standing coastal history of the area.”
During a brief presentation, staff explained that tourism and economic recovery are on the rise locally and across the state and nation.
Kiki Ander, vice president of marketing, unveiled the latest ad campaign, "Spirit of Santa Barbara." The campaign included a new promotional video that boasted a catchy tune and specially written lyrics describing the city as "where mountains meet the sea."
Visit Santa Barbara also presented the results of strategic planning since the five-year plan began in 2010, finding that its efforts have contributed to an increase of about $45 million in lodging revenues through the end of fiscal year 2012-13.
New branding also required a new logo that would preserve and simplify the current mark, which has represented the Santa Barbara travel and tourism brand for eight years.
The logo keeps its mainstay: a masthead that has long remained a mystery.
The emblem now incorporates the lesser-known story of the saint for which the city is named. Saint Barbara, who was exiled to a tower by her father, stood watch over Santa Barbara’s shores and was known as a protector of ships, a patron saint of masonry and an overseer of ocean tides.
Visit Santa Barbara plans to employ new strategies, including tactics to increase business during off-peak times and better measure the success of its programs.
The organization's president ended the presentation on a happy note, hoping the new brand will continue drawing visitors to see what the coastal community has to offer.