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News, Business, Santa Monica, Tourism

More Than 2,000 Local Employees Complete 'I am Santa Monica' Program

Posted Jan. 31, 2012, 1:31 am

Mirror Staff

Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau announced Monday that more than 2,000 local employees have completed the "I am Santa Monica" program to become official Santa Monica Brand Ambassadors.

The 2,000 ambassadors represent a diverse group of local employees, including servers, hotel concierges and front desk staff, Downtown Santa Monica Ambassadors, taxi drivers, hotel General Managers, police officers, lifeguards, local residents, city leaders, business owners, and more.

"I am Santa Monica" was launched in May of 2008 in a unique partnership with the City of Santa Monica, Santa Monica College and Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.

The free interactive program consists of a one-hour guided bus tour and a two-hour class, showing hospitality employees firsthand why Santa Monica is a unique community while educating them on how to answer destination-specific questions about city issues and ordinances that may impact local tourism and the visitor experience.

With proven success of the "I am Santa Monica" program, Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) is now offering its innovative, turnkey program "I am Your Destination" to other travel locales.

This customizable, interactive training program is specially designed for the hospitality and tourism industry and focuses on promoting knowledge of the destination brand as well as customer service.

Not only does this unique and customizable program create tourism advocates who are empowered with destination information, it also engages all levels of community from safety personnel, civic leaders, education, businesses, and non-profits, giving destination marketing organizations the opportunity to further position themselves as the tourism information source for their destination brand.

Santa Monica CVB's peers at Visit Newport Beach Inc. are the first DMO customers of the "I am Your Destination" program which is comprised of various components, including 1) in-person presentation to your city stakeholders; 2) templates and electronic files for all materials; 3) on-site training and phone support and consultation; 4) instructional manual; and more.

"The overall destination and the experience it offers is our number one priority. We continually strive for excellence in tourism and I'm proud that we've created an affordable and successful blueprint for other destinations to follow," said Misti Kerns, president and CEO of SMCVB. "It's imperative that we provide a program for our hospitality industry that arms our employees with knowledge of their destination so that visitors keep coming back and we are able to provide jobs in our community.

Wolfgang Jonas, General Manager of Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, named Best Hotel for Business Travelers in Los Angeles by Travel + Leisure, shares, "This program has been a great help to us to enforce our service promise of being a local ambassador. New hires, existing leaders and colleagues have enjoyed being part of this program and we'll continue this program at our hotel on an ongoing basis".

Local employees and those who want to gain employment can sign up for the free "I am Santa Monica" program at

For more information regarding the "I am Your Destination" program, contact Teresa Anderson by phone at 812.988.8882 or email:

Post a comment


Feb. 2, 2012, 4:11:44 pm

Melody Oksa said...

Yesterday I read about the Santa Monica Ford, for the IAM Santa Monica program. Today I saw it, in person ! What a sporty Ford, bright green, with a surf-board on top, how very Santa Monica, just like when I grew up here, at Samo in the 60's !.

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