Embracing stewardship
Stewardship is defined by Webster as: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.

 The care of Sonoma County is that “something” for which Sonoma County Tourism, along with our incredible partners, is responsible. We take this responsibility very seriously.
We have a responsibility to develop sales and marketing programs that bring both business and leisure visitors to the region, creating tax revenue that helps fund a variety of programs on which our residents rely for their very survival.
We have a responsibility to encourage both visitors and residents to better understand the fragile natural resources so important to the beauty and longevity of this land we all enjoy. And, more than a simple understanding, we must help our visitors respect and preserve these resources for future generations.
We have a responsibility to protect our unique cultural components. From the extraordinary modern makers who incorporate items unique to Sonoma County in a variety of artisanal offerings, to the forefathers (and mothers) who worked the earth and created a spectacular legacy of grape growing and winemaking, to the historic native Americans whose traditions and people embraced this land, we all need to appreciate the culture and cultures inherent to Sonoma County.
We need to be careful and responsible managers of all this and more.

Because we think our responsibility to Sonoma County and to all of you is so important, we’re evolving our organization from a destination marketing organization (or DMO) to a destination stewardship organization (DSO). 

While we’re the first in the nation to do this, the tourism industry is more committed to destination stewardship and sustainability than it ever has been before. Visit California will soon launch a major sustainability effort; we will work alongside them to help achieve their statewide goals.

One of the most endangered areas in the world, the island of Palau, developed a truly wonderful video that all visitors arriving by plane must see along with signing the Palau Pledge . This is a marvelous example of how we can potentially communicate with our visitors. 
As we develop our programs for the next couple of years, you’ll see an emphasis on destination stewardship and sustainability. We join with the Sonoma County Winegrowers and the many organizations dedicated to achieving the goals of a Sonoma County that’s 100 percent sustainable.

I invite any of you who are interested in helping us identify and administer programs that encourage our visitors to be responsible and careful stewards, to let me know of your interest. We have some ideas for programming, but certainly welcome your insights. Please contact me at [email protected] .
We are definitely stronger, smarter, and more responsible stewards, together,

- Claudia

Claudia Vecchio, president/chief executive officer
Sonoma County Tourism
Advertising in Alaska Airlines Magazine
Sonoma, Napa, food, and wine will be featured in both the May and June issues of Alaska Airlines Magazine. Advertising space is still available on the co-op page in the June issue, which will cover activities, wine, shopping, dining, and more. Alaska Airlines is the largest airline with flights at the Charles M Schulz - Sonoma County Airport, and each their magazine reaches more than 3.8 million passengers. The space deadline for the June issue is May 4. For details, contact Yael Kallin, 206-44-5871 x27, [email protected].
Hospitality scholarship deadline May 15
The deadline is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, to apply for an educational scholarship of up to $5,000 from the Anthony Nicholas Narigi Hospitality Scholarship Fund. The scholarships are offered to residents of Sonoma, Napa, Monterey, San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara counties who plan to pursue a career in the hospitality industry, and up to five scholarships are awarded each year. For details and an application, go to anthonynarigimemorialfund.org.
SCT News
Stuart and Cait Crowell of WhatCaitAte.com at the Flight Opens Up celebration in Denver.
Spreading the word in Denver
Many thanks to all who helped with the "Flight Opens Up" series of events in Denver to promote the new direct flights to Sonoma County. Members of SCT's sales, tourism development, and marketing/communications teams spent a day and a half meeting with travel professionals in each sector. That was followed by a celebration attended by more than 130 travel and media professionals along with representatives from Visit Denver. Thanks go to the partners who joined us for the business meetings: Pure Luxury Transportation, Flamingo Conference Resort, DoubleTree Hotel, Holly Hansen PR, and b public relations. Plus, several artisans and demonstrators added spectacular Sonoma County flavor to the celebration: Alley 6, Comstock Wine, Denman Ranch, and Zailena Wines.
From left, Rochelle Jones, Elise Trivers, and Mc Genova of Visit Denver; Stuart and Cait Crowell of WhatCaitAte.com; and Biggi Vaughan of Sonoma County Tourism.
Getting to know Sonoma County
Sonoma County Tourism’s travel trade representatives from Australia, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom came to Sonoma County in April for an immersive, weeklong familiarization tour. Enjoying a ‘Sip N Cycle’ tour through Dry Creek Valley with Getaway Adventures are, from left, Allie Sparr of Australia, Martin Schmidtsdorff of Scandinavia, Sophie Banna of the United Kingdom, Kathy Motton of Canada, Deleyse Langdale (SCT's vice president of global tourism development), and Ramona Rutert of Germany.
Investing in the community
Sonoma County Tourism, in collaboration with Sonoma County, has $100,000 available as part of the larger Community Investment Funds program, to help organizations countywide. Funding is available for projects that:

·       Enhance safety (e.g. lighted and/or marked crosswalks)
·       Clean up the environment (e.g. removing trash from beaches and waterways)
·       Promote hospitality professionalism
·       Improve way-finding signage (e.g. park locations and cultural sites).

The submission deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, May 3, and all funds will be distributed by June 30. The program guidelines and application form are available at https://www.sonomacounty.com/community-investment-funds-application.
Sonoma County and the Media
Sonoma County in the news ...
Sonoma County Tourism's work with the media is ongoing, getting the word out about our destination. Here's a sampling of some of the recent stories promoting Sonoma County.
By Juliana Kaplan and Jordi Lippe-McGraw
Cosmopolitan (UMV: 9,378,760)
Naming Sonoma County on a list with Paris, France and Miami, Florida, this article highlights West Sonoma Inn & Spa; the story was syndicated to Yahoo (UMV: 10,014,781) and MSN (UMV: 10,031,198).
By Kayla Boyd
The Today Show (UMV: 23, 917,404; Viewership: 2,220,834)
SCT worked directly with Conde Nast Traveler’s editorial team, resulting in this on-air segment that features The Sandman Hotel in Santa Rosa.
By Myffy Rigby
The Sydney Morning Herald
(UMV: 7,579,260)
SCT hosted Rigby last December; the article highlights Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Valette, SingleThread, Duke's Spirited Cocktails, El Molino Central, Rainbow Cattle Company, Boon Eat + Drink, Autocamp Russian River, and Armstrong Redwoods .
By Brian Freedman
Food & Wine
(UMV: 9,388,987)
Stressing on Sonoma County’s amazing hospitality and warmth, this article highlights Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Madrona Manor, Barndiva, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Valette, SingleThread, and Spoonbar.
What's New in Sonoma County? Journalists want to know

SCT sends out a monthly press release to thousands of journalists each month that announces what's new in the region. The individual announcements are also posted online at www.sonomacounty.com/media/whats-new. I f you have something new happening at your business, please submit that information. And feel free to share What's New items on your own social media or with potential visitors and clients.
The downward trend in occupancy and average daily rate is a result of many factors, including natural disasters and the resulting media coverage: The 2017 wildfires, the smoke effects from the Camp Fire in November 2018, and the Russian River flood in February. A heavy rainy season here meant a strong ski season in the Lake Tahoe region, which did see a boost in visitation. SCT continues to promote visitation to Sonoma County through a robust advertising, marketing, public relations, and sales efforts.
Industry news
National Travel & Tourism Week
May 5-11, 2019
Celebrate the many ways travel enriches our lives, strengthens the economy, and connects us during National Travel and Tourism Week. Each day of the week, the U.S. Travel Association highlights another example of why travel matters to America. Learn more.
How the Faroe Islands became an ‘un-destination’
When you are promoting a destination that, for most of the world, seems to be in the middle of nowhere, you have to get creative in your marketing efforts. Recent prize-winning campaigns out of the Faroe Islands prove that when it comes to creativity, size doesn’t matter.
Canadian province attracts visitors with icebergs
The best advice for destinations large and small as they embark upon marketing campaigns — keep it real. The efforts of isolated, iceberg-laden Newfoundland and Labrador is proof that going with the authenticity “floe” can melt the hearts of potential visitors.
Lake Elsinore, California grapples with ‘poppy apocalypse’
Lake Elsinore, California wanted tourists — but not the kind that gridlocked its streets and trampled its mountainsides. After being featured in Forbes and Reuters for its spectacular spring wildflowers, the city is trying to learn from intense , “pop-up” overtourism to prepare for a more manageable future.
Iceland closes canyon because of too many Justin Bieber fans
Let's get to the good part: Iceland's Fjadrargljufur canyon is beautiful.
Now, the not-so-good part: The fragile canyon, featured in Justin Bieber's 2015  "I'll Show You" video, is being loved to death. So the country is closing it, at least until June.
Indonesia may temporarily close Komodo Island due to dragon theft
Tourists to Indonesia will likely be barred from the popular Komodo Island for up to a year beginning in January 2020 — a decision seemingly impelled by recent reports of Komodo dragons being stolen and smuggled overseas, potentially for dubious medicinal purposes.
Watching Mexico’s mystifying tourism move
Mexico’s new government has priorities for tourism, but that doesn’t include a tourist board. Will other destinations seize the opportunity?
Nearly 100 million Americans plan a 2019 family vacation
AAA projects that nearly 100 million Americans will take a  family vacation at some point in 2019. While the figure is slightly higher than last year, it still only represents about four in 10 U.S. adults. According to the recent AAA Travel survey, many families are planning spring and summer road trips. In fact, more than half (53 percent)  plan to take a road trip in 2019.
California bill would ban tiny hotel toiletry bottles
Those little complimentary shampoo bottles provided in hotel rooms could soon be a thing of the past in California. State lawmakers are proposing a bill that would ban the single-use mini bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion that are often found in hotel room bathrooms. The proposed law would reportedly go into effect in 2023 and would encourage hotels to provide products in bulk dispensers, helping to cut down on plastic waste.
Taco Bell’s ‘hiring parties’ are working
In an effort to stand out in a  wildly competitive job market, Taco Bell is applying the same kind of whimsy that customers usually see in the chain’s marketing campaigns to something far more routine: job applications. Free food and games abound, and participants have the opportunity to secure on-the-spot job offers. 
Driverless taxis coming to Fairfield, CA
Optimus Ride, an autonomous technology startup based in Boston, is getting ready to deploy a small fleet of self-driving cars on private roads in Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 300-acre modern industrial park housing over 400 manufacturing businesses, and ​within Paradise Valley Estates​, a private 80-acre assisted living community located in Fairfield, California.