Visit Ventura Honored with Visit California Poppy Award

Visit Ventura staff is proud of their award.

Visit Ventura is extremely proud to announce that it was selected as the winner in the Best Strategic Partnership category at the Visit California Poppy Awards Gala, one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the California travel and tourism industry.

At their biennial Poppy Awards, held March 12 in Greater Palm Springs, Visit California honored tourism destinations and attractions across California for excellence, creativity, and effectiveness in tourism marketing and destination stewardship.

Among hundreds of submissions, a panel of industry marketing experts selected Visit Ventura as the destination winner for the Best Strategic Partnership category, recognizing the organization’s leadership in bringing together a first-of-its-kind city, county, and state partnership to bring the X Games to Ventura last summer.

“Receiving a Poppy Award is a dream come true! It’s a win not only for our small but mighty Visit Ventura team but also for the entire community,” said Marlyss Auster, president and CEO of Visit Ventura. “We brought together local business owners, our local transportation partners, city and state officials, leaders from the Chumash tribe, and so many more to make the summer of 2023 a summer no one will forget. I am so proud of our community for dreaming big and collaborating to make it all happen!”

A phone call in 2019 that began the journey of a partnership between the X Games and Visit Ventura blossomed into a partnership that brought together partners from all corners of the industry to put on a larger-than-life event to drive visitation and worldwide recognition to Ventura.

A transportation partnership with Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, Ventura County Transportation Commission, and a local bike and skate shop resulted in a successful holistic transportation plan with 2,000 cars off the roads and 2,000 bikes and skateboards utilizing the free skateboard and bike valet. Collaboration between Ventura Fire and Police Departments created a safe event for families of all ages. A partnership with local Chumash tribe leaders made the X Games’ first land acknowledgment possible in front of the media and athletes. And as you walked through the streets of Ventura, you saw the strategic partnership in action on nearly every corner as local businesses embraced the X with special X Games offerings.

Visit Ventura helped facilitate all these conversations, making space for ideas and collaboration to make the summer 2023 X Games an event the Ventura community could be proud of.

“The past two years have seen tremendous growth, resilience and innovation from California’s travel industry,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “This year’s Poppy Award-winning campaigns inspired visitors from around the world to rediscover California, highlighting our state’s welcoming spirit and abundance of world-class experiences.”

Beteta, alongside Visit California’s board officers, presented the 2024 Poppy Awards during the 16th annual Visit California Outlook Forum, held March 11-12 at the Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa. This year’s Outlook Forum celebrated record attendance, welcoming more than 800 attendees.

XG California 2023 changed the landscape of Ventura’s business community and city at large, now and for years to come. Most of all, our community is proud of what took place on a sunny summer weekend in their hometown. And that’s what it’s all about.

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