San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo County, located midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the beautiful Central Coast of California, needed to create long-term planning of its tourism potential and optimize its subsequent economic benefits. The project team led by CSL International Vice President Richard Cutting-Miller was engaged through an international RFP selection process to identify the region’s potential products, amenities, programming, and experiences via an extensive Destination Management Strategy.

Visit SLO CAL was in the midst of transition to a DMMO (Destination Marketing and Management Organization) from a more traditional DMO (Destination Marketing Organization) role of tourism marketing and promotion, to also include responsibility for implementing the recommendations of the Destination Management Strategy. With a mission to establish SLO CAL as a premier destination for residents and visitors, and continue as a major economic driver in the area, the tourism industry is well positioned to help balance the economic development and quality of life issues facing the region.

The project team applied its proprietary competitive destination assessment research, engaged in significant stakeholder engagement to identify the region’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, conducted a product and market-match assessment, and produced a visitor appeal assessment of existing tourism assets.

The Destination Management Strategy delivered by the project team developed 28 destination-specific recommendations, gathered into three areas of focus: Industry Advancement & Advocacy, Infrastructure & Investment and Experience Development. Visit SLO CAL is engaging the local community to implement these recommendations in San Luis Obispo County, an area poised to be California’s next outdoor recreation and culinary hotspot.