Group: Pan-China California Advisory Board (CAB)
Event: Pan-China CAB Annual Business Meeting
Date: Nov. 9, 2017
Santa Barbara was selected as the host destination for Visit California’s Pan-China California Advisory Board (CAB) meeting. This prestigious group represents the executive leadership of China’s top tour operators, travel agencies and airlines, including dominant brands like Tuniu, C-trip and United Airlines.
Every other year, Visit California brings this CAB group to the Golden State for a VIP familiarization tour in addition to the annual business meeting to discuss strategies, market insights and other timely topics impacting tourism business between California and China.
The 27 Pan China CAB members, along with Visit California leadership, convened in Santa Barbara following their respective familiarization tours. Visit Santa Barbara wowed them with an immersive late afternoon-into-evening experience on our scenic waterfront.
[Planner's Perspective: Diane Hamilton Discusses the Pan-China CAB Meeting]
It started with a sail along the coastline aboard the Channel Cat, a spectacular luxury catamaran and the largest in Santa Barbara Harbor. To showcase the region’s rich marine fishery that includes the Channel Islands 25 miles offshore, sea urchin diver Stephanie Mutz conducted a demonstration to show how uni is extracted—also highlighting how 90 percent of the region’s sea urchin harvest is exported to Asia.
The grand finale of the experience was a catered winemaker dinner staged on Stearns Wharf adjacent to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center. It was essentially a pop-up restaurant produced in partnership with two local suppliers: Bright Event Rentals and Releve Unlimited.
A clear pavilion was set up in order to create the effect of dining under the stars with the glittering lights of the Riviera and city in the background while providing protection from the autumn elements.
Dramatic lighting was positioned to further illuminate the Sea Center and a string trio added aural ambience. The three-course catered feast was paired to wines presented by local winemaker Blair Fox.
“Our partners at Releve Unlimited, Bright Event Rentals and the City of Santa Barbara Waterfront Department—along with our talented makers and artisans—helped Visit Santa Barbara showcase what makes The American Riviera® so spectacular to these VIP guests,” said Visit Santa Barbara President/CEO Kathy Janega-Dykes. “The immersive experience they created captured the laid-back elegance and sophistication of our destination while maximizing the aesthetic beauty of the setting and our regional ingredients. It was truly a night to remember.”
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