Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau Expands Sales Team - New Sales Associates Have Nearly 20 Years Of Combined Hospitality Experience

November 03, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (November 3, 2007) — Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) proudly announces the addition of two new members to its sales team. Working under the direction of Alison Best, SMCVB Director of Sales, are Mary De Hoyos as the new Sales Manager and Hannah Schnell as the new Sales Assistant. Together, De Hoyos and Schnell will cultivate a new level of interest with meeting planners and tourist groups around the world in bringing unique events to Santa Monica. In addition to assisting meeting planners, conference attendees and representing Santa Monica at trade shows, both De Hoyos and Schnell will work closely with local hotel, restaurant and retail hospitality partners in maintaining business rapport.

In their first week on the job, De Hoyos and Schnell finalized SMCVB’s trade show presence at the Meeting Planners International (MPI) World Educational Conference in Montreal, Canada, spotlighting Santa Monica as a premiere travel destination to more than 2,000 international meeting planners. De Hoyos traveled to Montreal along with Santa Monica partners from The Lobster Restaurant, Le Merigot Beach Spa & Hotel, Shutters on the Beach Hotel and Casa del Mar Hotel, the collective group promoting the city’s 2007/2008 Zagat distinction as Best Neighborhood Dining in Southern California, recent hotel renovations and eco-friendly/green meeting practices.

“Mary and Hannah bring us nearly two decades of combined experience in the hospitality industry,” said Misti Kerns, CEO of SMCVB. “They are both enthusiastic about sales and their knowledge of the industry and individual talents are a huge asset in developing relationships with key outside partners in bringing citywide events to Santa Monica.”

De Hoyos and Schnell will share in planning for SMCVB’s 25-year anniversary celebration, which starts this month. The yearlong commemoration will highlight Santa Monica as a premier destination for leisure travelers, domestic and international businesses and events. The new sales team also oversees the 2008 VIP Program which provides discounts at more than 160 Santa Monica restaurants, retailers and attractions to large groups visiting the city. In addition, De Hoyos and Schnell will participate in upcoming trade shows in Las Vegas and Northern California and liaise with event coordinators from the American Film Market, (annual conference in Santa Monica held in November) and local hospitality partners to closely monitor hotel availability for attendees during the market.

Together De Hoyos and Schnell make a great team with their keen interest in destination marketing. Mary De Hoyos, came to Santa Monica in 2005 with Delta Air Lines, where she spent sixteen years as an international flight attendant and manager. Through Delta Air Lines, De Hoyos gained strong managerial and customer service experience. She has a B.S. in Communications from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina and previous marketing experience with Arthur Andersen & Co. and various advertising agencies.

Schnell’s background in the hospitality industry is derived from her position as a sales coordinator for Marriott Hotel, where she gained experience in working at tradeshows, coordinating business meetings and luncheons, and welcoming guests to the hotel. Schnell developed strong customer service skills in the restaurant industry as a host in her hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. In May of 2006 she received a B.A. in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Purdue University and has lived in California since.

“With the addition of Mary and Hannah, our sales department is now complete,” said Alison Best, SMCVB DOS. “We are thrilled to see the results of our strategic sales tactics in the next year with promoting and outreaching for Santa Monica as a leading destination for events, meetings and conventions around the world.”

Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. (SMCVB) is a non-profit organization designed to increase visitor expenditures, tourism revenues and local employment opportunities through the promotion of Santa Monica as a travel destination. For travel and accommodation information or a free copy of the Official Visitors Guide, the public can write to the Santa Monica Visitor Center, 1920 Main Street Suite B, Santa Monica, CA 90405; call (800) 544-5319 or (310) 393-7593; visit; or email