In a move that is part of a long-term strategic plan to cement the destination’s comeback following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau (Monterey County CVB) today announced the hiring of Teresa Savage as its new vice president of business development. Savage is a seasoned industry executive who comes to Monterey County from her previous position as the vice president of sales for Visit Napa Valley.
“The meetings and conference industry is going through the greatest transformation it has ever experienced,” said Rob O’Keefe, president and CEO of Monterey County CVB. “We’re thrilled to have an industry leader with significant experience growing this business, both at hotels and with DMOs, to help us redefine our future.”
Savage brings more than 20 years of hospitality sales experience in California, including a stint at Monterey Marriott Hotel, during which time she served on the Marketing Committee for the Monterey County CVB. Her achievements include a proven track record of achieving budget targets and working collaboratively with destination partners.
“I’m excited to return to a destination I know and love, whose innovation and beauty has captured my heart,” said Savage. “Monterey County’s industry partners have gone above and beyond in implementing the safety measures needed for meetings to return to the destination. I look forward to working the CVB team and the greater community to bring meetings back to Monterey County.”
The recovery of meetings and conferences is vital for Monterey County for many reasons, including the fact that overall spending is typically higher for business travelers than that of leisure visitors. Additionally, meetings are mostly booked in the shoulder season and during mid-week, bridging the gap when leisure travel is at lower levels. Meetings and conferences also drive employment, as hotels require additional employees for banquets and catering.
“We are proud to show the commitment Monterey County CVB and its meetings and conference partners are making, despite the uncertainty of the ‘new normal’ we are all navigating,” said Kevin Ellis, Board Chair of Monterey County CVB and general manager of Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa. “Our destination is well positioned to host reimagined meetings, and strategically investing in the right personnel and resources to help revive the industry speaks volumes about our end goals. We are ready and eagerly waiting to welcome groups back.”
Coinciding with Savage’s hiring, Monterey County CVB has developed a microsite for meeting planners to conduct virtual site inspections in lieu of physically visiting the destination. The resource is meant to maintain a dialogue and highlight how the destination is transforming meetings amid and coming out of the pandemic. Lodging partners, such as Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa and Carmel Valley Ranch, are also offering incentives to those booking meetings through 2021 – including perks like complimentary high-end experiences for guests, upgraded suites and more.