With funds for tourism from the City of Hollister, www.discoversanbenitocounty.com was launched to encourage visits to San Benito County. This site focuses on the many things to do and see, places to stay, shop and eat. Social media is also playing a big part in getting the word out, you can follow us on Facebook (Discover San Benito County California), Instagram and Pinterest (Discover San Benito County) and Twitter (@Discover SBC).
Visitors guides have been distributed to three locations of the San Jose Airport, Pismo Beach Visitors Center, San Juan Bautista Visitors Center, Mission San Juan Bautista, Pinnacles National Park and Casa de Fruta as well as being distributed in over 1000 visitors bags handed out by the Chamber and its members.
San Benito County is also featured in the Central Coast Visitors Map, which is distributed to West Los Angeles and San Francisco hotels, San Francisco car rental centers, the seven largest California Welcome Centers, and six California airports. A digital version of the map is available at Visitorstips.com.
The Yosemite Journal featured San Benito County in the 2016 edition, showing the beauty and diversity of our county. The magazine is available in print sold at Target, Barnes & Noble, Vons and other marketplaces and is also available online at MyYosemitePark.com.
Other projects to promote tourism were also implemented including promotional tours with writers that resulted in articles featured in The Examiner, Facebook posts and online magazines and videos. Some of the businesses and owners that were interviewed and written about include Calera Winery, Pietra Santa Winery, DeRose Winery, Guerra Wines, Joshua Inn Bed & Breakfast, Ridgemark Golf Club, San Juan Oaks Golf Club, Running Rooster, Paines Restaurant, Johnny’s Bar & Grill, Heavenly Bakery, Lighthouse 55, Bertuccio’s Market, Casa de Fruta, Mission San Juan Bautista, Vertigo Coffee, Dona Esther Restaurant, and San Juan Historical Park.
A three-year contract with Big Blend Radio & Magazine has produced several features, videos and interviews on things to do, events and the history of our county. In the next couple of months Big Blend will be back to do more touring, interviewing, photographs and videos of our enchanting county.
Tourism efforts are being financially supported by grants from the City of Hollister, County of San Benito, City of San Juan Bautista and Community Foundation of San Benito County, along with donations from Chamber members.
“We are looking forward to the Marriott hotel being completed,” said Juli Vieira, CEO of the chamber, referencing the facility under construction on Gateway Drive. “Just in the past two months, the Chamber has had to send more than $650,000 of hotel rooms to Gilroy because we do not have the room availability. We are going to have the hotel filled and need another one on the books very soon. If we continue to bring tourists, film crews, festivals and the biker rally to the community.”
“One film crew alone needed 40 rooms for approximately 30 days and that money all went to Gilroy, which is such a shame because the film crew and actors would have patronized local restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner but as it stands they will eat lunch here and eat breakfast in Gilroy on their way to filming and dinner after they go back to their hotel and freshen up,” said Vieira.
“When the writers and photographers from Big Blend Magazine return in the next couple of months they look forward to staying in San Benito County at Chamber member establishments and interviewing local hospitality related business owners. It is a balancing act to schedule everything they want to see and do because the county has so much to offer travelers.”