Monthly Marketing Spotlight

October 2019


Visit Santa Barbara held a video and photo shoot over the course of four days within the Santa Barbara South Coast collecting new assets to focus on the passion pillars of lifestyle and wellness. Some of the featured locations included: East Beach, Santa Barbara County Courthouse, Old Mission Santa Barbara, Gaviota State Beach, Miramar Beach, Douglas Preserve, Butterfly Beach and Carr Winery, among several others. In addition, architectural footage and stills were also captured around the Santa Barbara South Coast. The new creative will be used in early 2020 across digital marketing, print ads, social media and as part of the “Santa Barbara Effect” brand campaign.


Visit Santa Barbara launched a new “Third Night Free” hotel promotion designed to increase overnight demand and length of stay during the fall and winter. The advertising campaign will run through Expedia and Priceline from mid-September through November, for travel dates between November 2019 and March 2020. 

Visit Santa Barbara is further promoting the campaign through social media, public relations and driving traffic to a dedicated campaign landing page at, where all of the offers are displayed to encourage non-commission, direct bookings to the hotel partners.

The campaign is supported with a media spend of $125,000 and targets off-season travelers with a household income of $75,000 or more in drive and fly markets. It also targets those searching for hotels in competitive markets. Based upon campaign performance, Visit Santa Barbara has the option to extend the advertising campaign from late December 2019 through March 2020.
*Results will be shared at the conclusion of the campaign.


The VSB group sales team along with select Santa Barbara South Coast hotel partners pursued new group business from Orange County and the San Francisco Bay Area, hosting A-list meeting planners to networking events at popular local venues that included activities such as a succulent arranging class and mini spa treatments. Clients were informed about unique destination offerings and treated to Santa Barbara County wine. To date, the Northern California event resulted in a 600 room night lead and the Southern California event already generated a 300 room night lead and recent site inspection.


Nearly 180 travel advisors from Network of Entrepreneurs Selling Travel (NEST), a marketing agency focused on home-based travel counselors, arrived in Santa Barbara aboard Holland America’s ms Eurodam for the company’s 15th Annual Meeting. Santa Barbara was the only port of call, allowing the VSB sales team to roll out the red carpet to ensure travel counselors savored a quality Santa Barbara experience with activities such as a narrated city tour showcasing neighborhoods and landmarks, and lunch at one of Santa Barbara’s historic restaurants with mariachi and a flamenco performance. Many attendees were first time visitors, which provided VSB the opportunity to highlight the Santa Barbara South Coast and earn more referrals to a larger group of domestic visitors.


A new United Airlines flight from Chicago to Santa Barbara will launch on June 4, 2020. The daily service will depart from Chicago O’Hare International Airport at 7:45 p.m. local time and arrive at Santa Barbara Airport at 10:30 p.m. The route will be served by a Boeing 737-700, with a capacity of 126 passengers, and offer connections from more than 40 destinations across the Midwest and East Coast and more than a hundred international destinations. In order to encourage travel and increase visitation to the destination, Visit Santa Barbara will develop plans to promote the new service.


Hotel demand across the Santa Barbara South Coast increased in October 2019 for the seventh consecutive month, leading to a 2% increase in occupancy (76%). The average daily rate increased 8% to $266 per night. The combined growth in rooms sold and rate, lead to a 16% increase in hotel rooms revenue ($33.8 million). This strong performance was aided by increased group sales in 2019 over 2018, increased capacity at Santa Barbara Airport and warmer coastal weather compared with last October.