Marlyss and her “best friend” enjoying a day at the beach.
Visit Ventura is proud and happy to announce that Visit Ventura President & CEO Marlyss Auster was selected to serve as At-Large Director on the Board of the California Travel Association (CalTravel). The California Travel Association is the united voice of the travel and tourism industry in California, advocating on issues and legislation that affect the tourism industry.
“I’m so honored to be chosen to serve on CalTravel’s Board of Directors, and so proud to be Ventura’s representative at the table,” said Auster.
As one of the industries hardest hit by the fallout from COVID-19, tourism is facing historic challenges. After ten years of growth — in 2019 alone, tourism generated $144.9 billion in spending, created 1.2 million jobs and produced $12.2 billion in state and local taxes — COVID-19 upended everything. Travel industry unemployment is double that of the Great Depression; hundreds of thousands of tourism and hospitality workers are now unemployed in California — and millions are unemployed nationally. The travel industry needs immediate help. The livelihoods of millions of Americans depend on it.
Flipping things to an optimistic tack, tourism will be the very powerhouse that drives California — and the United States — back to its feet. And until that happens, organizations like Visit Ventura are working hard to keep their local economies (and morale) afloat. As soon as COVID-19 hit, Auster and her Visit Ventura team redirected their efforts, working harder than ever to encourage locals to support their own town in the absence of visitors. Visit Ventura generated a host of creative ideas –including “Takeout Tuesdays” (encouraging residents to buy takeout) and “Thirsty Thursdays” (a program of live Facebook tastings featuring local breweries, wineries, spirit makers, and even chocolatiers) — to help support the local economy. At the same time Auster’s team has been preparing for the future, putting together a multi-layered recovery plan that addresses everything from cautious, responsible recovery, to how to woo visitors in a fiercely competitive market — and make those visitors feel comfortable, welcome, and safe.
“Marlyss is an influential voice in the industry who has stood out among her peers for her leadership of her team and for her creative and communication skills,” said Barbara Newton, President & CEO of the California Travel Association. “I appreciate Marlyss’s active participation in our events and advocacy work, and we are thrilled to welcome her as an At Large Board Director at CalTravel.”
Auster will serve as At-Large Director on the Board of the California Travel Association for two years, beginning in June.