San Diego Business Journal The San Diego Tourism Authority has selected the first cohort for its diversity, equity and inclusion tourism accelerator. As part of the pilot program, the 10 participants will be provided free membership, mentoring, education and networking opportunities.

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Julie Coker President/CEO San Diego Tourism Authority

The first cohort was selected from nearly 50 applicants and includes: Access Trax LLC, Alternative Strategies, Common Theory Public House, Fargo’s BBQ/Jamaican Cuisine, Finest City Improv, Game Face Video SD, Gossip Grill, It’s in the Details, Pop Up Picnic Co. and Social Artistry LLC.


To participate, the business owners must be people of color, women, veterans and those who identify as LGBTQ+.

 
Bank of America and SDG&E are the financial sponsors of the pilot program, which will begin in January 2022 and offer services valued at over $10,000.


Even More Participants


Julie Coker, president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority, said the goal is to grow the Tourism Accelerator into an annual program with even more participants. She believes these efforts are critical for the ongoing health and sustainability of the local tourism industry.


“When it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, they must be intentional and have a business case,” she said. “The goal of this Tourism Accelerator is to increase the number of diverse businesses in our membership base, because that will give our visitors more diverse products from which to choose.”

 
“When we grow the number of diverse businesses, we are helping to ensure the local tourism recovery is equitable for everyone, and that is a win-win for our residents and our visitors,” added Coker.


As part of the first cohort, the selected businesses will receive: a complimentary membership in the San Diego Tourism Authority, free admission to SDTA events and access to SDTA senior staff, board members and program investors; coaching from a dedicated mentor who successfully owns and from Procopio law firm; $500 voucher for a course through UC San Diego Extension; a $1,000 credit to use on SDTA’s digital advertising platforms; and two free quarter-page ads in both the San Diego Business Journal and San Diego Magazine, and a $500 voucher for a course through UC San Diego Extension, among other perks.


San Diego Tourism Authority
FOUNDED: 1954
PRESIDENT/CEO: Julie Coker
EMPLOYEES: 55
HEADQUARTERS: Downtown
BUSINESS: Non-profit corporation with a mission to drive visitor demand to economically benefit San Diego.
WEBSITE: 
www.SanDiego.org
NOTABLE: S.D. is one of the top 10 visitor and meeting destinations in the nation.
CONTACT: 619-557-2838