About Destination Irvine
Under the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit 501(c)6, Destination Irvine, funded by a self-imposed assessment tax through a Hotel Improvement District (HID), positions Irvine as a destination for visitors, meetings and groups. Destination Irvine through direct sales efforts including database marketing, lead generation, trade show participation, and familirization tours, sells the destination. In addition, Destination Irvine promotes Irvine through marketing, advertising and public relations efforts.
Mission - Advancing the Economic Vitality of Greater Irvine.
- Bryan Starr, President and CEO
- Jessica Welch, Executive Vice President; Executive Director, Irvine Forward Foundation
- Sandra Crouch, Vice President, Finance
- Laura Perdew, Vice President, Marketing & Communications
- Marcella Avilez, Member Services Manager
- Bishr Malahfji, Digital Media Coordinator
- Misty Bond, Director of Sales and Marketing
- Ericka Lozada, Sales and Marketing Coordinator
- Dave Lucey, Director of Sales, Destination Irvine
- Hope Murray, Administrative Assistant
- Courtney Nakagawa, Events Manager
- Pepper Russell, Director, Economic Development
- Dinh Ta, Senior Director, Business Development
- Tracy Yannotti, Finance Manager
Destination Irvine Staff are members of the following organizations:
- Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
- Destinations International
- California Travel Association (CalTravel)
- Visit California
- U.S. Travel Association (TIA)
- National Association of Sports Commissioners
- California Society of Association Executives (CalSAE)
It may be too simple to say that bureaus sell cities; but in reality, that is their primary mission. Convention & Visitors Bureaus, or CVBs, are charged with the task of developing an image that will position their cities in the marketplace as a viable destination for meetings and visitors. CVBs have another crucial role as well: that of working with meeting and travel planners.
The importance of this role can be seen through several key services the CVB offers:
- The CVB acts as the broker or liaison between the planner and the host destination and its resources, thus, making the meeting or travel planner's job easier by providing contact names and local information.
- CVBs can efficiently provide city visitors with an array of information that addresses a multitude of questions about hotels, restaurants, attractions, shopping, recreation, and entertainment opportunities. In this way, the CVB serves as a visitor's one-stop-shop resource for ideas, inspiration, and information.
CVBs solicit and service conferences and other related group business as well as engage in visitor promotions, which generate overnight stays for a destination, thereby enhancing and developing the economic fabric of the community. These goals can be realized through a variety of responsibilities delineated within a CVB's marketing program. Such programs tend to cluster around the following broad goals: to prospect, nurture, encourage, and invite associations and corporations to hold meetings and/or events in the city.
Other Objectives Include:
- To assist associations and corporations with the coordinating of their conferences, seminars, and at trade shows, while in Irvine, including housing, transportation, registration or other mutually agreed upon services
- To work with the component elements of the visitor industry, coordinating their resources in support of bidding for conferences, seminars and trade shows
- To provide an array of services to travel planners in developing tours into a city, including suggested itineraries and overnight accommodations
- To provide leadership for the tourism industry, coordinating activities, encouraging marketing activities and providing a holistic image on behalf of the city
CVBs have a sensitive and important role to play in the leadership of the travel and tourism industry within a community. Without the dynamic and professional role of a CVB, a city is less likely to have an image in the marketplace among meeting planners and groups. As a result, the city will not gain the benefits that occur from having visitors spending time and money in their communities.
Bringing together local political, civic, business, and tourism industry representatives requires skilled and sophisticated leadership. Those bureaus which have been most consistently successful in their marketing endeavors have been those which have sought and obtained that kind of quality personnel.