Ventura County Coast is Ready, Safe to Host Meetings, Events

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Starting April 15, Ventura County’s tourism industry takes the first step on the road to its economic recovery as it reopens for small gatherings, meetings and events following California Gov. Newsom’s announcement earlier this month. All restrictions except those for conventions of more than 5,000 attendees are scheduled to lift statewide on June 15.

Starting April 15, Ventura County’s tourism industry takes the first step on the road to its economic recovery as it reopens for small gatherings, meetings and events following California Gov. Newsom’s announcement earlier this month. All restrictions except those for conventions of more than 5,000 attendees are scheduled to lift statewide on June 15.

Newsom’s plans - the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” and “Beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy” - includes COVID-19 safety requirements for venues hosting gatherings, events and meetings and sets June 15 for a reopening for all industries across California with safety measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

"The ability to safely resume meetings and events means more business, jobs, and direct spending throughout our region and California as a whole,” said Brian Tucker, Executive Director of the Ventura County Lodging Association (https://venturacountycoast.com/). “Here in Ventura County Coast, we are ready to get back the business of doing what we do best: hosting groups and taking care of our guests.”

Newsom’s announcements were issued a week after Ventura County Coast and the California Hotel & Lodging Association (CHLA) invited meeting and event planners to the “Clean + Safe Meeting and Event Guidelines” virtual tour, turning real-life event space at the Ventura Beach Marriott into an immersive digital environment to demonstrate safety protocols for future meetings and events. The 360-degree tour is available to view at https://venturacountycoast.com/SAFEMEETINGS, along with a digital toolkit of resources for hospitality venues in need of support as California begins to reopen.

“This is fantastic news for our hotels, their employees and our guests,” said Lynn S. Mohrfeld, CHLA President and CEO. “This is the light at the end of the 18-month COVID tunnel our industry has been waiting to see.”

Business meetings, trade shows and conventions are a major driver of California’s broader tourism industry accounting for $66.1 billion in direct spending and 457,000 jobs in 2019, according to two October 2020 studies by Oxford Economics. The same studies also found California lost $4.1 billion each month the state delayed safely reopening for meetings and events.

The Ventura County Coast “Clean + Safe Meeting and Event Guidelines” virtual tour is one of many demonstrations throughout the state that pushed for the adoption of statewide meetings and events guidelines in order to get employees back to work and to boost the economic recovery of California. Visitor spending brought $1.8 billion to Ventura County in 2019. Those revenues are now down more than 45 percent due to the pandemic.

The Clean + Safe Meeting and Event virtual experience, digital toolkit and resources are the result of an industry collaboration made possible by Ventura County Coast, California Hotel & Lodging Association https://calodging.com/, Visit Camarillo, Visit Oxnard, Visit Ventura and Discover Port Hueneme.

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Natalie Bovee
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