Two groups whose mission to support tourism in Mendocino, Calif., has increasingly overlapped have merged resources under the banner of “Visit Mendocino,” and will launch a new Web site and promotional effort by the end of this year.
“With simultaneous efforts by the wine grape commission, promotional alliance and the lodging association, it has been a very convoluted promotional theme for some time, and now we are trying to get organized and focus our efforts together. The first step was forming a traditional tourism bureau,” said Scott Schneider, executive director of the Mendocino County Lodging Association and board chairman of the Mendocino County Promotional Alliance.
Schneider, who served as a significant driving force behind the consolidation, said the effort started with the commission of a comprehensive travel research study by North Carolina-based Randall Travel Marketing Inc. The report was paid for by the county joint marketing commission, promotional alliance, Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission and the lodging association.
The detailed report assessed the current and past travel experience in Mendocino and the total budget of all of the area’s tourism marketing organizations, and outlined a strategic plan for better promotion going forward.
Paramount among those recommendations, the report encouraged further coordinating the efforts of each organization. Surveys from local officials showed a widespread desire to join the groups, and visitor research surveys scored the lowest marks in ease of finding visitor information.
“We really see the consolidation as a maturation of the tourism efforts in Mendocino,” said County Executive Office Analyst Steve Dunnicliff. And once the consolidated mechanism is in place, it should be a boon to the county’s wineries, which long have been out-promoted by their Sonoma and Napa County neighbors to the south.