Staff Report


Visit the Santa Ynez Valley (VisitSYV) has announced the promotion of Executive Director Shelby Sim to president and CEO of the organization.

“I am in complete awe of the accomplishments of our organization. Shelby Sim, with his expertise, leadership and charisma, has positioned VisitSYV as a leading tourism organization not only in the county, but throughout the country,” said Board Chairwoman Linda Johansen.

VisitSYV is the official destination marketing organization for the Santa Ynez Valley, formed in 2010 to promote tourism in Solvang, Buellton, Santa Ynez, Ballard, Los Olivos and Los Alamos. Sim was hired as executive director in 2014.

“It is my honor and privilege to lead the charge in promoting the paradise we know as the Santa Ynez Valley. The support, cooperation and participation we receive from our board, hoteliers, tourism partners and community is humbling,” Sim said.

Under Sim’s leadership, VisitSYV has strengthened its relationships and cooperation with communities across the county and state; regularly hosted press and media representatives and other “influencers” from around the world; and implemented a free, valley-wide, customer-focused workshop series.

In 2017 alone, VisitSYV participated in the New York City Wine & Food Festival, Sundance NextFest and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

According to Visit California’s latest impact report, travel-related spending in Santa Barbara in 2016 totaled $2.1 billion, resulted in $183.7 million in county tax revenue, and brought 20,000 jobs to the region.