PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Santa Ynez Valley Tourism Marketing Alliance Formed

RFP Issued for $250,000 Advertising/Promotion Agency Contract

Solvang, Santa Ynez Valley, California—On November 7th, 2012, a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association (SYVHA) and the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau (SCVB) was signed establishing the new Santa Ynez Valley Tourism Marketing Alliance (Alliance); whose main purpose is combining resources for the collective destination marketing of the Santa Ynez Valley as a tourism region.

According to SCVB Executive Director Tracy Farhad, “The Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau received a grant from the City of Solvang for FY 2012-13 (July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013) to pursue regional marketing opportunities; with the stipulation that matching funds up to $125,000 from other tourism organizations in the Santa Ynez Valley region be secured. Over the past few months, the SCVB sought out potential Alliance members from Santa Ynez Valley area destination marketing organizations, tourism associations and tourism-specific entities. The Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association agreed to join the Alliance with a financial commitment equal to the matching grant fund of $125,000. Any further Alliance members must be approved unanimously by the current two members of the Alliance—the SCVB and SYVHA.”

Mary Harris, Executive Director of the SYVHA stated, “The Alliance’s physical promotional area is the Santa Ynez Valley, which includes the City of Solvang, City of Buellton, Santa Ynez Township, Ballard, Los Olivos, and Los Alamos communities—the borders are the Santa Ynez Mountain range to the south, La Purisima Mission on State Route 246 to the west, Cat Canyon Road north at US Hwy 101 and State Route 154 at Cold Spring Tavern/US Hwy 101 at the Gaviota tunnel, to the south. The Alliance’s scope of work to be performed will include the hiring of a joint advertising and public relations agency or agencies with marketing programs to be voted upon by each Alliance Member based upon their buy-in participation level. “

On December 17, 2012, the Alliance issued a $250,000 RFP (Request for Proposal) seeking advertising and public relation firms familiar with the Southern California travel trade market and the Santa Ynez Valley as a visitor destination. Copies of the RFP, due back by January 15, 2012, are available to qualified agencies and businesses by contacting Tiffany Valdez, SCVB Sales & Special Events Manager, at

Both Farhad and Harris acknowledged that the Alliance is committed to promoting tourism to the Santa Ynez Valley with a larger, more unified voice that will result in increased economic prosperity for the region.

For information on the SCVB, visit and the SYVHA visit

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