San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau names CEO
San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau announced it hired a new chief executive officer to lead its operations, according to the San Diego Business Journal
Joe Terzi joins the organization as CEO, replacing David Peckinpaugh. Terzi was most recently senior vice president for Starwood Hotels & Resorts until his retirement on Jan. 1.
Terzi has been active in the San Diego hospitality industry since 1995. He served on SDCVB’s board of directors for 12 years, and was chairman in 2004. He was a founding member of the San Diego Tourism Promotion Corporation, which provides funds for the Bureau.
SDCVB is a private, nonprofit mutual benefit corporation that promotes and markets San Diego as a vacation destination and convention site. The organization members include companies directly and indirectly involved in the visitors industry.
“It’s a whole a different world for the hotel industry. The priority is to make sure we’re doing what we need to do to use our marketing dollars wisely, and promote San Diego as a destination of choice,” he said. “We’ve got aggressive marketing plans and we’re also looking at new opportunities. It’s about using the dollars we have available effectively in a changing world.”
Terzi said he will have a role in marketing decisions, along with Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships Kerri Kapich.
“We have three major vehicles that we’re spending most of our money on. Because we have significant budgets right now, it’s allowed for television ads which we haven’t done too much of in the past. We do national cable, regional cable and some spot ads”, he said.
Additionally, Terzi said SDCVB implements traditional advertising, with some print ads in magazines, as well as spot radio ads.
“We’ve also begun a major online campaign, initiated with online travel sites like Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz,” he said. “Most of our dollars are in television and online.”
Terzi said the messaging of the advertisements depends on the time of year.
“We start our ad campaign for summer in April, and through August we spent about $9 million in the market,” he said. “About 60 percent of that is in the Western region and 40 percent in national cable.”
He said San Diego is a major West coast destination, and its primary marketplace for visitors comes from Orange County, Calif., Phoenix and other West coast areas where people are drawn to cooler temperatures and still have the beach.
In addition to travel and leisure guests, SDCVB markets to companies and group bookings. He said the organization has a goal of booking 800,000 group rooms this fiscal year, compared to 640,000 the prior year ending in June.
Terzi said the overall economic situation has obviously impacted the tourism and hospitality industry.
“We have to deal with all of that. San Diego is not a pure resort community. The perception is it’s on the high-end. We’re still a major meeting destination and want to make sure people still know that,” he said. “The person that’s planning a meeting has more options. It’s an aggressive buyer’s market; we’re competing against destinations we never would have had to deal with before.”
He said at the same time, San Diego is trying to increase its market share against other destinations like San Francisco, the greater Los Angeles area, Phoenix and Seattle.
Terzi said SDCVB handles all public relations internally, and Sacramento, Calif.-based MeringCarson is its agency of record.
“We’re always looking for opportunities to bring more resources in and do our job. We’re committed to Carson, but sometimes contract out on different things. We’re doing our Web site and online Internet marketing with new mechanisms like Twitter and other social networking applications.”
Though San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau is not looking to replace MeringCarson, Terzi is open to additional groups for project help. In addition to some online opportunities, he said an area that could be looked at is regional marketing campaigns, specifically outside the West coast, where the organization is pretty much set. Orlando, New York and other main areas that could be of interest to the company to increase its market share.
San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau
2215 India Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Senior Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Partnership
(619) 232-3101 / x. 2828
Chief Executive Officer