Santa Maria VCB Celebrates Tourism Week with Picnics at Presqu’ile Winery

SANTA MARIA, CA—In recognition of travel and tourism’s tremendous economic, social and cultural impact on the Santa Maria Valley, the Santa Maria Valley Chamber and Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) will celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week with a picnic-style luncheon and awards ceremony on May 6 at Presqu’ile Winery (5391 Presqu’ile Road, Santa Maria) from noon to 1:30 p.m.

“Our VCB’s mission is to increase overnight stays in the region, bringing revenue to the City of Santa Maria,” said Gina Keough, manager for the Santa Maria Valley Visitor & Convention Bureau. “National Travel and Tourism Week is a time to thank all of our partners and reflect on the benefits tourism bestows upon our city.”

Keough added that as of February 2015, overnight stays in Santa Maria-area hotels brought nearly $2 million ($1,994,523.15) in transient occupancy tax receipts to the City of Santa Maria – an increase of 11% compared with figures one year ago. Transient occupancy tax is a 10% tax charged nightly for hotel stays.

The luncheon will also feature tourism awards presented by the Santa Maria Valley VCB to a local organization and to a local individual who have demonstrated exemplary efforts in the past year to promote tourism in the Santa Maria Valley. This year’s recipients are Diana Cantero of the Tailwinds Bicycle Club and Windmill Century Event who is receiving the Mayor’s Award; and Dennis Smitherman, the recreation supervisor for the City of Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department, who is receiving the Robert P. Hatch Excellence in Tourism Award.

The day will offer gourmet picnic-style lunch boxes catered by Field to Table Events of Nipomo. Wine from Presqu’ile will be available for purchase by the glass or bottle. Seating is limited, however, attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets. Cost is $30 per person and tickets may be purchased through the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau:; or phone (805) 925-2403 or visit

This year marks the 31st celebration of National Tourism Week—May 2-10, 2015—an annual tradition that was established by a congressional resolution in 1983 and first celebrated the following year. This nationwide week of events serves to champion the power of the tourism industry.

Serving the greater Santa Maria Valley in the heart of California’s Central Coast, the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau is a nonprofit association that facilitates local tourism and provides information on the region’s many attractions and visitor services. Famed for its fine wines, natural wonders, agricultural heritage and flavorful barbecue, the Santa Maria Valley offers a broad range of cultural, sporting and historical experiences. For details on Santa Maria Valley lodging, wine tasting, travel deals and e-newsletter alerts, visit or call (800) 331-3779.


Malei Weir Christopher Weir
(805) 239-0020

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