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Turlock sees increase in business visitors
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The Turlock Convention and Visitors Bureau took a look back at a year of programs at the Dec. 13 City Council meeting, and announced its goals for 2012.

The CVB is responsible for tourism and marketing in the City of Turlock with the goal of enhancing the economy by bringing more visitors to Turlock. It works in conjunction with the Turlock Chamber of Commerce and the City of Turlock. The Turlock general fund and Transient Occupancy Tax partially fund the CVB’s activities.

Desa Cammack, director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, made a report of the CVB’s activities for 2011. The summary included information from a check-in survey given to guests staying at local hotels. The goal of the survey was to better understand who visits Turlock and what their reasons were for staying.

“What we found out was surprising, actually,” Cammack said.

The survey was taken from April to May. During that time, 47 percent of visitors said that they were in town on business, and 29 percent said that they were visiting on sports related trips. May was a busy month for sports activity in Turlock, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association track and field championships.  Cammack said CVB employees were surprised that business related trips were the number one reason for guests to stay in Turlock during that time. The rate of guests in Turlock hotels increased 25 percent from May of last year.

“We can probably attribute that largely to the NCAA championship events… as well as some other activities happening during that month,” Cammack said.

Over 900 athletes and 300 coaches gathered in Turlock for the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships. At that time, the CVB expected each visitor to spend around $150 per day in Turlock. Hotel rooms were hard to come by, especially with the California State University, Stanislaus graduation and four high school graduations taking place at the same time.

“We will always continue our sports concierge service. This has been our niche,” Cammack said. 

The Convention and Visitors Bureau also partnered with the Central Valley Tourism Association and Gold Country Tourism Association to launch a phone application to help visitors find their way around the Valley. It listed businesses, attractions and other local areas of interest for visitors.

In 2012 the CVB plans to launch its own application for smartphones. It will include information on attractions, accommodations, discounts to local restaurants and businesses. The CVB also hopes to use the information from its check-in survey to pursue a new type of hotel guest in Turlock.

 “We really are going to work at making business travel a high priority for the CVB this coming year,” Cammack said.

The City Council voted to approve the CVB budget for 2012 at $211,645.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau also has around $40,000 in funding available for community events and projects that would promote Turlock to visitors. Applications are due by the end of December for consideration of funding.

“If anyone has a community event that they would like to apply for please contact me, we absolutely want to make sure that we give everyone an opportunity to apply,” Cammack said.

The Convention and Visitor’s Bureau can be reached at 632-2221 or in person at 115 S. Golden State Blvd.

To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.