Ventura County Coast Sets Stage to Reopen Meetings, Events

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Seeing is believing, especially when it comes to booking a meeting venue. That’s why Ventura County Coast in partnership with the California Hotel & Lodging Association launched a “Clean + Safe Meeting and Event Guidelines” virtual tour, turning real-life meeting and event space at the Ventura Beach Marriott into an immersive digital environment to show potential planners and travel industry professionals suggested safety protocols for future meetings and events.

Seeing is believing, especially when it comes to booking a meeting venue. That’s why Ventura County Coast in partnership with the California Hotel & Lodging Association launched a “Clean + Safe Meeting and Event Guidelines” virtual tour, turning real-life meeting and event space at the Ventura Beach Marriott into an immersive digital environment to show potential planners and travel industry professionals suggested safety protocols for future meetings and events. The 360-degree tour is available to view at http://venturacountycoast.com/safemeetings, along with a digital toolkit of resources.

California is the only state that is still limiting hotels and lodging properties from hosting meetings. 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 is losing $4.1 billion each month the state continues to delay safely reopening for meetings and events.

The demonstration is to garner support for the adoption of statewide meetings and events guidelines in order to get employees back to work and to boost the economic recovery of the region. Visitor spending brought $1.8 billion to Ventura County in 2019. Those revenues are now down more than 45 percent due to the pandemic.

“We need to do everything possible to protect the 17,000 jobs and $57 million in local tax revenues that travel generated for our county prior to the pandemic,” said Brian Tucker, Executive Director of the Ventura County Lodging Association (https://venturacountycoast.com/). “With nearly half of spending coming from visitors who stay in hotels and other paid accommodations, functional meeting operations are essential to the economy.”

“Hotels are safe and prepared to resume individual meetings that will return thousands of employees to work, boost the economic recovery for the hospitality industry and replenish empty public coffers with much-needed tax revenues,” said Lynn S. Mohrfeld, President and CEO of the California Hotel & Lodging Association (https://calodging.com/). “California is the only state in the nation preventing business meetings at hotels, which harms our communities, our employees and our industry. It’s time to safely reopen.’’

This interactive experience is the result of an industry collaboration made possible by the California Hotel & Lodging Association, the Ventura County Lodging Association and its city partners, Visit Camarillo, Visit Oxnard, Visit Ventura and Discover Port Hueneme.

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Natalie Bovee
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