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    Visit Ventura honored once again, this time as a creative force.

    Visit Ventura’s entry, “The Perfect Talk Trigger,” was chosen as the recipient of Destinations International’s WOW Award: Most Creative. Destinations International is the world’s largest advocate for destination organizations around the globe, working to help them with the travel they drive, representing over 6,500 professionals from 575 destinations.

    Visit Ventura was presented with the WOW award at a gala awards ceremony on September 30th at Destination International’s 2019 Visitor Services Summit in Kansas City, Missouri. Visit Ventura’s Michele Gilmour, Director of Consumer & Leisure Trade, accepted the award and gave a short presentation describing the joy and message behind Visit Ventura’s talk trigger.

    The award-winning campaign for the WOW award centered on Visit Ventura’s eye-catching ambigram and a simple message. You see things as you see them. Here in Ventura, everyone is welcome. The ambigram stickers are innovative, yes, and Visit Ventura used them to full effect when the Amgen Tour of California came to town this past May, painting 48-foot by 17-foot ambigrams on our city streets and rooftops for the world to see (televised race coverage reached an estimated 15 million viewers). Yes, Visit Ventura printed 200,000 stickers, and they’ve been flying out the Visitor Center door. Yes, the stickers were also inserted in 65,000 Visitor Guides. But it was never about numbers, and always about a heartfelt welcome to everyone — visitors and residents alike.  

    The Destination International award continues an ongoing string of awards for Visit Ventura, among them the recent (earlier this month) California Travel Association’s 2019 Great Workplace Award. That award followed back-to-back (2018 and 2019) awards as one of the best places to work on California’s Central Coast, and Adrian golds, three years running, from Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). The Adrian award is one of the most prestigious awards in the tourism industry.

    Destination International’s WOW award, while an honor, was no surprise to those who work in an office where minds are always turning the world upside down and looking at things in a sky’s-no-limit way. Through creative thinking and various award-winning campaigns, Visit Ventura helps spearhead a tourism effort that generates close to $300 million in annual visitor spending and, equally important, creates roughly 2,600 jobs in Ventura. Winning a few awards along the way. 

    It’s been a fun award-winning run. But it has always been about the visitors who pour into the Visitor Center, from Germany, New Zealand, Japan and so many other points around the globe. 

    “People from around the world come into our Visitor Center, and we always see it as our chance to give them their first warm Ventura welcome,” said Marlyss Auster, Visit Ventura President & CEO. “Our brandmark ambigram stickers have played a huge role in that welcome. Our visitors walk out with a sticker and a smile.”

    “We are so proud to be recognized by Destinations International for our creativity,” said Michele Gilmour, after accepting the award. “But it’s about heart too. Our Visitor Center staff and volunteers have created a genuinely friendly Ventura vibe where visitors want to stay and visit for awhile. And they do!”   

    Find out how Visit Ventura contributes to driving Ventura’s economy through tourism and meet the team. 

    About Visit Ventura

    Visit Ventura is a non-profit organization designed to increase visitor expenditures, tourism revenues, and local employment opportunities through the promotion of Ventura as a travel destination. For travel and accommodation information or a free copy of the Ventura Inspiration Guide, the public can write to the Ventura Visitors Center, 101 S. California Street, Ventura, CA 93001; call (805) 648-2075; visit; email [email protected]. Follow VVCB on Twitter @visitventura or become a Facebook fan at

    About the Destinations International Foundation
    The Destinations International Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering destination marketers globally by providing education, research, advocacy and leadership development. The Foundation is classified as a charitable organization, under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code and all donations to the Foundation are tax deductible. For more information visit

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