Hospitality Heroes Awards

Visit Santa Barbara is seeking Hospitality Heroes to recognize through a weekly awards program, which will run for five weeks this summer, July 13 to August 10. 

As hospitality businesses and attractions reopen throughout the Santa Barbara South Coast, our workers play a vital role in helping to communicate and carry out standards that protect the health and safety of our community, workforce and visitors. 

In this time when COVID-19 has created many challenges, thousands of local workers are performing small and large acts of everyday heroism. Whether on the frontlines as they politely interact with customers, or behind the scenes as they ensure rooms are safely sanitized or dream up new programs, there are countless examples of workers who are doing the right thing to keep everyone safe. 

Nominate a Hero:

If you know of a Hospitality Hero who has supported healthy and safe behaviors related to COVID-19, whether among their customers or co-workers, we invite you to nominate him/her/them for a weekly award.

Hospitality businesses and attractions are also eligible to be recognized for innovation or excellence in promoting COVID-19-related health and safety. Special consideration will be made for individuals or groups who have provided exemplary service to implement health standards in a safe, effective, courteous and/or creative way.

To submit a nomination, please click here. The deadline for the first nominations will be due by noon PST July 13, 2020. After that, each week, submit your nomination by noon on Mondays (July 20, July 27, August 3, August 10). There is no cost to participate.


Beginning July 14, 2020, Visit Santa Barbara will select one Hospitality Hero for five straight weeks to receive a $100 gift card and a certificate of recognition. If the recipient is comfortable, he/she/they also will be recognized in Visit Santa Barbara’s weekly industry enewsletter and an announcement to local media outlets. 

In addition, at the end of the program period, from the pool of Hospitality Heroes, Visit Santa Barbara will select one Grand Prize winner to receive a Santa Barbara South Coast Staycation Package for two, including a local hotel stay, dinner and activities.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Nominees must be employed in the Santa Barbara South Coast (Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, Summerland, unincorporated Santa Barbara County to the south of Gaviota) but do not need to be local residents.
  • Nominees must be employed in the hospitality industry. That includes businesses such as hotels/motels/legal short-term rentals, restaurants, wine-tasting rooms/wineries, bars, museums, visitor attractions, retail shops that have visitor clientele, tour operators, activities providers for visitors (ex: boat cruises, kayak rental companies), or services that support hospitality businesses.
  • Nominees can be employed in any position related to hospitality, from frontline customer services and cleaning/grounds crew to marketing, HR, management and more. 
  • Nominees that are submitted one week will go into a nominee pool that will also be considered for all subsequent weeks if they are not selected the first time. So, there’s no need to submit multiple nominations for the same person, unless you’d like to update your information.
  • It’s okay to nominate yourself or your own business or to submit multiple nominations for different people.
  • Nominees’ businesses do not need to be members of Visit Santa Barbara or the Santa Barbara South Coast Tourism Business Improvement District (or TBID).


If you have any questions about the Hospitality Heroes program, please email Visit Santa Barbara at [email protected]