The San Diego Convention Center during a meeting prior to the pandemic.  Photo courtesy San Diego Convention Center Corporation

The state’s rarified C-level of tourism executives, including the lead official from San Diego’s tourism industry, have written a formal letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to issue guidelines necessary to book business meetings and other gatherings as the COVID-19 pandemic eases.

They argue in the letter that the lack of guidelines is preventing California’s tourism industry from booking meetings and conventions starting next year and beyond. Such gatherings are usually booked years in advance, so issuing a set of rules is critical for the future of the industry, they wrote.

“It is imperative that the state move as quickly as it can to issue thoughtful and responsible guidelines,” said Julie Coker, the executive in charge of local tourism, in a news release issued about the letter.

“There’s too much at stake for California to be the outlier among states with no guidance,” she said, adding, “The economy is revving up, our clients want to book business meetings and conventions, but we can’t accommodate them. We are losing out on revenue and jobs.”

The letter from the California Travel Authority, signed by 134 tourism agencies and labor groups across the state, can be read here.

* * *

Some good news on the tourism front. On March 3, Japan Airlines has resumed nonstop flights to Tokyo from San Diego International. The service re-starts with three-day-a-week service, according to airport officials. “The resumption of service is an important step in our recovery process,” Kimberly Becker, the airport’s top official said. “We welcome Japan Airlines back to San Diego International Airport.”  JAL’s return to San Diego comes after the airline suspended service in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, the carrier offered daily flights which were invariably at capacity or near capacity.

* * *

On March 18, San Diego’s History Center will open a virtual exhibition on local African American pioneer Nathan Harrison. According to a news release, the exhibition will feature a curator leading a walkthrough of the physical and digital exhibit. The show, organized with the help of San Diego State University, is titled “Nathan Harrison: Born Enslaved, Died a San Diego Legend,” and provides details about recent discoveries taken from archaeological excavations at Harrison’s cabin on Palomar Mountain in East County. Harrison was an ex-slave from Kentucky who lived on the mountain from the 1850s to 1920. According to a publicist for the center, the exhibition should offer new insights and perspectives on Harrison’s private life, while also providing a fresh look on everyday life in San Diego during and after the Civil War.

* * *

Speaking of the History Center…The center is set to host a webinar on March 9 on “San Diego Women I Wish I’d Known,” a look at the women who have left their mark on Balboa Park. Linda Canada, a former archivist for the Japanese American Historical Society who has given talks for the History Center’s Speakers Bureau for 20-plus years, is the speaker for this event.  The talk is free. Register here.

* * *

Local trade publication San Diego Beer News has announced the winners of its first-ever awards program based on fan-nominated brews and breweries in 26 categories. The winners were announced during a couple of online awards galas featuring local media personalities, podcasters and representatives of the local brewing scene. While this year’s winners were revealed in a virtual environment, the inaugural San Diego Beer News Awards has proved enough of a success that plans are already in the works for a physical ceremony in 2022, said organizers. It will be held at a local brewery-restaurant if the easing the pandemic permits.

* * *

Maybe a winner in the making for next year’s beer competition? Coronado Brewing Co. and Karl Strauss Brewing Co. have teamed up to introduce an unusual new IPA named Core Values. This new beer is brewed with apples from the Pacific Northwest. It debuts at Coronado’s three locations on March 5. The brew will be available in packs of four and on draft via Coronado’s distribution network. For more information, click here.

* * *

Local financial services agency Dawson Wealth Management Group has joined the local offices of UBS Wealth Management, according to a news release. Thirty-year industry veteran Ed Dawson leads the namesake firm, which will now become part of UBS. According to the release, the team “brings significant experience developing planning-based strategies, which will enable clients to better understand their financial position and the impact it can have on the community as well as their families.” UBS bills itself as the world’s largest wealth manager.

* * *

Finally, this item…Old Town’s Mission Driven Finance, a Certified B Corp, or more commonly what is known as a benefit corporation, says it has now invested a total of$11 million over the past five years in business that help the community. The investment portfolio accumulated during that period includes Aquacycl, a startup providing sustainable and cost-effective wastewater treatment services to food and beverage customers; Kid Ventures, which provides preschool, childcare, special educational programming, camps, and special events; and CareCar, a health tech company that works with managed care organizations to oversee transportation benefits for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to tom.york@gmail.com.

Show comments