Here are some of the things the Monterey County Visitors and Convention Bureau are doing to educate visitors to Big Sur. Check out these resources when you have a minute. Thanks, MCVCB. Now, if we could just find a way to channel some of the advertising budgets of all these organizations into some ON-THE-GROUND action, like porta potties, trash receptacles, extra patrols by MCSO to ticket those who are breaking the law by camping on the side of the road, or worse, building campfires,. then we would finally have something real going. With all the tourists dollars Big Sur brings in to the entire county, some of it needs to be spent here to make the visitors experience more enjoyable. This outreach is a start, but it is only a start.
SeeMonterey.com homepage has a link to a Big Sur microsite that is loaded with the latest information, maps, tips and suggestions ranging from fire/smoking restrictions to FAQs on responsible tourism. See that page here: https://www.seemonterey.com/resources/travel-alert/#sm.0002nsm037hcea110tx17oyjr82hg
• We’ve also created a special Travel Like a Big Sur Expert page with “Dos and Don’ts” – https://www.seemonterey.com/regions/big-sur/big-sur-sustainable/#sm.0002nsm037hcea110tx17oyjr82hg
• We created a Sustainable Moments video series that features Big Sur – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJtR8T1k8yo
• Our Visitor Center is getting about 4000 people a week right now – more than half inquire about Big Sur and we use it as an opportunity to educate them on experiencing Big Sur in a safe and responsible way
• We work with a handful of regional partners ranging from Visitor California to the Central Coast Tourism Council to other CVBs and agencies – attached is an example of a Market Situation Report (MSR) we regularly distribute. With Visit California we update on a weekly basis.
• We constantly update and monitor social channels. On our Facebook page we reach over 100,000 people (and by extension tens of thousands more) with messaging about Big Sur, how to visit and how to do so responsibly. Below is a recent post.
• We’ve been running a significant amount of advertising and paid social posts to promote how enjoy Big Sur in safe and responsible ways. And we’re running paid advertising within Monterey County to reach visitors already in our destination.
• Supervisor Mary Adams is heading up the developing situation and working with Caltrans, Parks and others. MCCVB has been a part of that working group since day. We supported and helped facilitate and promote the new shuttle service designed to mitigate single car traffic – and we support carrying this on beyond the road closures.
• Our PR team is proactively reaching out to journalists around the globe to push a balanced message – Big Sur is open and visit smartly, safely and responsibly.
• An example of getting the message out about balanced tourism growth is this article in Edible Monterey – http://ediblemontereybay.com/our-newsletter-sponsors-spotlight/sustainable-moments-strengthen-local-tourism/
• We’ve created a ‘resource kit’ for all our members with a variety of tools and tips designed to promote responsible tourism throughout Monterey County – https://www.seemonterey.com/members/tools/sustainable-moments/#sm.0002nsm037hcea110tx17oyjr82hg
I don’t mean to overwhelm you. And there is more… But want to give you and others answers for when asked “What is MCCVB doing?”.
While we are very focused on educating travelers about Big Sur – we need to look for more ways to inform and educate our residents on what we are doing and how to collaborate. We are open to more ideas and more collaboration, so be we’ll reach out to Big Sur Kate as well. If you have any further thoughts or questions, please let us know…