Star Report

The Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau (SCVB) in partnership with Visit the Santa Ynez Valley (VisitSYV) are pleased to offer two, free LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender) diversity training workshops for the hospitality industry on Monday, May 23, at the Hotel Corque ballroom, 420 Alisal Road in Solvang. Both free workshops are specifically designed for hotel, restaurant, winery, attraction and tourism-related businesses. The public is welcome to attend as well.

The first workshop “Diversity Training for the Hospitality Industry” will be held from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The second workshop is from 1:00-2:30 p.m. titled “Sales & Marketing to the LGBT Visitor.” Guests may attend one or both free sessions. RSVPS are required by email to no later than Noon, Friday, May 20, 2016.

The keynote speaker for both workshops is David Paisley, Senior Research Director of Community Marketing & Insights (CMI), a well-known corporate and travel industry consultant based in San Francisco since 1993. Paisley will present case studies; provide trends and insights from two decades of LGBT marketing research studies and share best practices in LGBT communications and customer service.

“SCVB has been reaching out to the LGBT community for the last two years by attending specialized trade shows, hosting LGBT media and working with the TAG APPROVED® certification process. We are pleased to partner with VisitSYV on this Valley-wide marketing initiative. We urge all hospitality industry members as well as the general public to attend,” said Tracy Farhad, Executive Director of the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau.

According to Paisley, LGBT travel generates more than $100 billion each year in the United States alone. Tourism and hospitality professionals should be prepared to leverage the evolving demographics and travel behaviors of LGBT consumers to capture increased market share. Additionally, Paisley will share information about the TAG APPROVED® certification for hotels and attractions–an all-out effort to qualify travel businesses based not only on their desire for gay travel revenues, but on their employment policies, services, and support returned to the LGBT community. Currently, over 1,800 hotels and tourism businesses worldwide have been designated TAG APPROVED®.

“You will leave these workshops with a better understanding of the LGBT travel segment as well as how to reach them and promote your tourism business effectively. Plus, attending either session qualifies VisitSYV lodging members for the LGBT required training that is necessary for a TAG APPROVED® certification. VisitSYV will pay the first year fees for any hotel that wishes to become TAG APPROVED®. Partnering with the SCVB on LGBT diversity training is a great benefit to the community,” remarked Shelby Sim, Executive Director of the Visit the Santa Ynez Valley.

About SCVB and VisitSYV

Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau (SCVB) is a not-for-profit organization formed in 1986 to promote the City of Solvang, its Northern European culture, cuisine, arts and attractions of the village known as “California’s Little Denmark.” Visit the Santa Ynez Valley (VisitSYV)promotes the Santa Ynez Valley region as a diverse destination for all people to experience, which creates prosperous and sustainable outcomes and overnight stays for businesses in Buellton, Ballard, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, and Solvang.