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The latest. The greatest. And people you should meet.

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With more than 39 million visitors each year, San Antonio is a destination worth visiting. We have it all. Browse our blog entries to get to know us better and scroll through our accolades below to see what others are saying about our destination. 

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On August 13, The Witte Museum and Visit San Antonio, along with PSAV, hosted a fun and educational lunch and learn titled “Dressing for the Job.” Demonstrations by the talented Vaquero Josh include the practical and protective uses for chaps, boots, hats, bandanas and more. It is fun for the whole family! In case you missed it, we invite you to view it below.

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On July 23, Visit San Antonio joined the team at Pedrotti’s Ranch, along with PSAV, for a bourbon fueled cooking demo. This savory lunch and learn featured everything you need to know about grilling the perfect burger as well as how to make your own butter-bourbon glazed grilled peaches and a signature cocktail called Hill Country Dreaming.  In case you missed it, we invite you to view it below and try creating your own at home. Tag us in your creations at Twitter, @MeetinSA.

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On June 3, Marriott and Visit San Antonio, along with PSAV, hosted a virtual cooking class to share some of the fantastic flavors of San Antonio. Accomplished Marriott Chefs Brett Rea and Benjamin Annotti showed our friends how to make Marriott’s Pan Roasted Tomato Tartine and Rose’ + Grapefruit Spritz. In case you missed it, we invite you to view it below and try creating your own at home. Tag us in your creations at Twitter, @MeetinSA.

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Visit our Destination Experience Pinterest Boards for planning inspiration for your next San Antonio event. From catering ideas, to venue suggestions and decorating fun, our boards are sure to inspire your creative thinking. And don’t forget our expert Destination Experience Team is here to help as well. Please reach out to us for anything you may need to help make your San Antonio event a success!

Visit https://www.pinterest.com/visitsanantonio/destination-experience

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We snagged a few moments with Kristy Hernandez, one of the Visit San Antonio Destination Sales Managers. She gave us the inside scoop on where to get a great margarita in town and why San Antonio is the perfect spot for your next fiesta!

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Kristy with her fur-baby, Lucy!

How long have you lived in San Antonio?:

KH: I have lived in San Antonio for almost my ENTIRE life! I did live in Austin during my college days (Go Horns!!) and a few other cities when I was younger.

As someone who’s a born and bred San Antonio-an, why have you stayed?:

KH: I absolutely LOVE San Antonio!  I have always wanted to live somewhere beautiful, friendly and rich in culture. San Antonio checks all of those boxes and my family lives here, so it is the perfect fit!  

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you handle?

KH: I handle site visits for all markets, and have the pleasure of working closely with our Sales Managers in San Antonio, D.C., Chicago, Florida and Dallas.  

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

KH: The people. Visit San Antonio is a lovely little work family. I enjoy coming to work every day and I have fun while working. It is the perfect combination.

Why should people host their next event in San Antonio?

KH: San Antonio is such a wonderful place and we will welcome you with open arms every time you visit. There is so much to do here for everyone. We also have the friendliest people here, which is a huge plus! 

When you’re not busy showing off the city, what do you like to do in your free time?

KH: When I have some free time, I love relaxing at home with my family, friends and my fur-baby, Lucy! I also love to go walking along the Museum Reach section of the River Walk, it’s so calming.

Describe San Antonio is three words:

KH: Beautiful. Friendly. FIESTA!   

Now for a few speed round questions:

Red Salsa or Green Salsa?

KH: Red.

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio?

KH: This is so difficult, because everything is my favorite! I love Mi Tierra’s bakery and their decorations are gorgeous. When people visit they MUST the get a cocktail at Sternewirth inside of Hotel Emma and a margarita on the patio at La Gloria (the Mangonada is my favorite)! I love the San Antonio Zoo (Did you know you can feed the giraffes?!) and SeaWorld (Aquatica water park is so fun!). I also never skip out on a chance to sing with my friends at Howl at the Moon – they know how to throw a party. I truly could talk for hours, but I’ll stop here.

Think you’d like to plan your next San Antonio event with Kristy, or sing the night away at piano bar with her? Reach out via email – KristyHernandez@visitsanantonio.com.   

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Sales Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 10, 2019) – The public-private nonprofit Visit San Antonio, the sales and marketing arm for the City of San Antonio, has been selected by its employees as a Top Workplace for 2019, it was announced today.

The organization was recognized at an awards luncheon held at the J.W. Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa, and will be showcased along with other winners in a Top Workplaces special section to be published in the San Antonio Express-News on Sunday, Oct. 13. The newspaper sponsors and announces the annual awards.

“The fact that this award is given out based on the responses of employees makes it particularly special,” said VIA Metropolitan President & CEO, Jeffrey C. Arndt, chairman of the Visit San Antonio Board of Directors. “It is the organization’s staff that is the foundation of everything it does, and this recognition reflects the familial atmosphere that exists at Visit San Antonio.”

This is the 11th year for the Express-News to team up with Workplace Dynamics, an independent search firm, to recognized the best places to work in the San Antonio area. Winning employers are chosen through employee surveys on a variety of workplace topics. Survey results are then verified by an independent organization.

“Visit San Antonio takes great pride in its ability to attract and retain top talent,” said Casandra Matej, President & CEO for Visit San Antonio. “We always say that we sell fun in San Antonio, which is one of the country’s truly authentic and wonderful destinations, and that we have fun doing it. We take great pride in the work we do, but we also truly enjoy each other and this organization.”

Visit San Antonio, which includes 87 employees, works daily to position San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. The city welcomes 39 million visitors a year as part of a tourism and hospitality industry that generates $15.2 billion in economic impact.

For more information on the organization and San Antonio as a destination, visit www.VisitSanAntonio.com.

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Día de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead” is a tradition-filled, lively celebration of deceased loved ones. The spirit of this tradition lives throughout San Antonio through vibrant events for all. 

Explore fall in San Antonio with incredible music, art and culture. Experience events like SeaWorld San Antonio’s Howl-O-Scream & Spooktacular, Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ Fright Fest, new exhibits at cultural institutions like The Witte Museum and the San Antonio Museum of Art and more. 

Enjoy a fall adventure full of surprises. Escape for a couple’s getaway in San Antonio, showcasing our rich culture and thriving culinary scene. 

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San Antonio (September 26, 2019) – San Antonio International Airport (SAT) was pleased to learn that it earned a sixth-place finish in the J.D. Power 2019 North America Airport Satisfaction Study.SM SAT was the only Texas airport to receive high scores in the Medium Airport Statistics Index Ranking.

SAT achieved a ranking of #6 with a total of 813 points.  This is a significant improvement from #13 and 785 points in 2018. For greater context, overall passenger satisfaction with North American airports has risen only a single point (on a 1,000 point scale) year over year, according to JD Power.

“This is impressive, very impressive,” said Russ Handy, Aviation Director for the City of San Antonio.  “Just last year we were ranked thirteenth in this study and now we have moved into the sixth position.  That is a significant jump and it shows that all of our new initiatives to make flying easier are beginning to pay off, and our passengers are noticing.”

The study, which is now in its fourteenth year, measures overall traveler satisfaction and tracks data by looking at six factors:

  • Terminal Facilities
  • Airport Accessibility
  • Baggage Claim
  • Security Check
  • Check-in/Baggage Check
  • Food, Beverage and Retail

Travelers were asked a series of questions and based on the data collected, San Antonio International Airport scored very high in the following categories:

  • Attractiveness of Airport Grounds
  • Ease of Arriving and Leaving Both Terminals
  • Amount of Time Required for Security Check-in
  • Cleanliness of Baggage Area
  • Traffic Flow at Check-in/Baggage Area
  • Cleanliness of Terminal Concourses and Hallways
  • Ease of Getting to Gate
  • WiFi Service
  • Clarity of Signs/Directions
  • Ease of Arriving to the Terminal
  • Courtesy of Restaurant Staff
  • Timeliness of Orders
  • Cleanliness of Restaurants

Constantly seeking new ways to improve and enhance the passenger experience, SAT has implemented a number of noticeable enhancements to the airport over the past two years, and this significant increase in passenger ranking indicates the enhancements have been well received by the traveling public. Among the many passenger enhancements are SAT Live and The Galleries at SAT – two new programs that feature musicians and artists with local, regional and national appeal – designed not only to reflect the sounds, sights and culture of San Antonio, but to make the entire travelling experience pleasant and stress-free.  New terminal and garage wayfinding, such as the park assist technology in the short term garage and increased signage, makes arriving and maneuvering through the airport and terminal much faster and easier.  Other  features designed to make flying easier for passengers with special needs include free AIRA service to assist passengers will visual impairments, increasing the number of ADA parking spaces – to exceed what is mandated by law – to serve a large passenger base requiring accessible parking, and translation services for international travelers.   

“This ranking is a great honor, as it recognizes our collective efforts to provide the best passenger experience possible,” said Karen D. Ellis, Chief Customer Experience Officer.  “We want everything associated with flying to be easier at San Antonio – what we call from bedside to planeside – from start to finish and everything in between, we want flying through San Antonio to be the simplest, fastest and most enjoyable experience possible.  This ranking shows us that our passengers are noticing and appreciate our efforts.”   

Ellis says plans are already underway “to add an interactive and educational play area – or  KidZone – for kids; curbside valet parking service; a brand new airport website that is more user friendly, and more food, beverage and retail options that will add both national brand favorites and local flare – all designed to continue to make the customer experience stress free, entertaining and even more enjoyable.”

“We are very excited with a ranking of 6th – and we are very confident that our plans for continuous improvement will produce an even higher ranking next year,” said Handy. 

J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and customer satisfaction. Rankings are based on numerical scores, and not necessarily on statistical significance.

For more information on this report or to schedule an interview, please contact Tonya Hope at 210-207-1515.

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San Antonio: America’s 21st Century City

San Antonio is a global city with a dynamic economy and workforce, a deep cultural heritage and diverse communities that are resilient and welcoming. It is one of the strongest fiscally managed cities in the country, nurturing entrepreneurship, encouraging investment and funding infrastructure. America’s seventh-largest city offers a vibrant business climate and growth opportunities in bioscience, financial services, aerospace, cybersecurity, energy, transportation, manufacturing and healthcare. In 2015, UNESCO designated San Antonio’s 18th century Spanish colonial missions as a World Heritage Site – the first in Texas. Proudly called Military City, USA®, San Antonio is home to one of the largest populations of active duty military, veterans and crucial military commands. For more information, visit www.sanantonio.gov.

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We sat down to talk with Donna Stachowiak, who was recently named Services Manager of the Year by Visit San Antonio. Donna is the Conference Services Manager for Omni La Mansion Del Rio and Mokara Hotel & Spa. Donna is truly a master in the field of services and an asset to San Antonio’s hospitality industry, but we wanted to get to know her a little better and find out more about her love for San Antonio.

2019 Visit San Antonio Services Manager of the Year, Donna Stachowiak with Omni Hotels and Resorts Area Managing Director, Rusty Wallace & Visit San Antonio President/CEO, Casandra Matej. 

How long have you lived in San Antonio?

DS: I moved to San Antonio in 1981, so I’ve been here for a long time now!

Why did you move to San Antonio?

DS: I came to San Antonio to attend Trinity University (Go Tigers!), where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science. I was planning to go to law school, even though I always had the desire to work in hotel. When I was a kid, I thought that working at a hotel was glamorous and exciting due to the old television show, “Hotel.”

How did you get your start in the hospitality industry?

DS: I owe my start in the hospitality industry to Trinity. I worked in the Office of Conferences and Special Programs my senior year and ended up changing my career aspirations to meeting and event planning. We held conferences on campus in the summer for groups of 50 to 2000 persons. During the Academic year we worked with Trinity faculty on special programs and ran continuing education meetings on campus. I loved planning – it simply fun and rewarding. My supervisor at Trinity, Ann Knoebel, knew that eventually I wanted to transition from university conference planning to the hotel industry, and she helped make that dream happen for me by connecting me with her industry contacts. I was fortunate to start my hotel career with Omni and I quickly learned that when you start your career with the best hotel company around, there’s no need to leave!

What do you love about working for Omni La Mansion and Mokara Hotel & Spa and servicing the properties’ clients?

DS: I love the history of both Omni La Mansion and the Mokara Hotel and Spa, as well as the challenge of working at two hotels. Each hotel is unique and special in its own way and I get to share that with my conference and meeting groups. It’s quite rewarding to be there at the beginning of the planning stages and see an event through to a successful end. Our guests leave with wonderful memories of their time in San Antonio and their stay at our hotel. When a guest has an issue, it’s gratifying to help solve their problem and make their experience better. Each day is unique in the hotel industry and that is what makes it fun. Everyone is committed to doing the best job possible.  

You have a free Saturday, where in the city would we find you?

DS: I’ll be at Friendly Spot enjoying their amazing sangria, floating the Comal River, browsing antique shops and thrift shops all over San Antonio and the surrounding towns, trying new restaurants, and just spending time with my friends.

Congratulations to Donna on being named Visit San Antonio’s 2019 Services Manager of the Year! San Antonio could not continue to provide a phenomenal client and attendee experience without the help of great partners like Donna.

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