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Visit Modesto named finalist in for National Tourism Award 

Visit Modesto named finalist in for National Tourism Award 

Modesto CA, August 18, 2021: The U.S. Travel Association named Visit Modesto as one of three finalists to receive a Destiny Award for Destination and Product Development Category. This award goes to Destination Marketing Organizations that created, during the height of the pandemic, outdoor and social-distancing friendly attractions. Visit Modesto was named a finalist for the Almond Blossom Cruise that was able to accommodate residents and visitors safely.  


The Destiny Awards, created by the U.S. Travel Association, “recognize … excellence and creative accomplishment in destination marketing and promotion at the local and regional level; and foster the development of imaginative and innovative destination marketing promotion programs and activities.” according to the website. This specific category is a first in tourism for creating programs that consider safety as well as promotion in the middle of a pandemic. The three finalists in this category were Visit Modesto, Destin-Fort Walton Beach and Martin County Office of Tourism and Marketing, both in Florida. 


Entries, like the Almond Blossom Cruise, were judged on the marketing strategies and results. Visit Modesto’s Almond Blossom Cruise was named a finalist, according to the ESTO website, “Given the small budget, the approach of leveraging the newsletter to informed marketing targeting was a creative one. The campaign did a good job of leaning into channels that consumers were engaging with at the time, maximizing reach in a thoughtful way.” The judging was focused on strategy, creativity & innovation, and results. Visit Modesto displayed to a national panel of judges an increase in market results even beyond 2019 which, pre-pandemic, was ta record year in local occupancy for the period mid-February through mid-March.  


“We’re excited that the agricultural beauty of Modesto, the Almond Blossom Cruise and the region were recognized by U.S. Travel.”, said Todd Aaronson, CEO of Visit Modesto. “The judges are top executives in marketing, social media, hospitality and higher education. To receive accolades from our peers and professionals in other industries puts the efforts of both our team and the local community on the national tourism map.” Aaronson expressed his appreciation to Marketing Director, Andres Mendez, as well. “Creating marketing programs in the midst of a global crisis for the travel industry is incredibly difficult. To see our partners in the community derive benefit from the programs Andres and his team executed is rewarding. The accolades in our industry are fantastic yet we remain committed to staying focused on the success of our lodging and destination businesses during these challenging times.” 


The Almond Blossom Cruise is an annual self-guided event through the tens of thousands of acres of blooming almond orchards from mid-February through mid-March. Visit Modesto created two routes for visitors to safely drive with over two dozen points of interest, farm stands, restaurants and scenic areas in Stanislaus County. 


Visit Modesto is the official tourism organization of Modesto, California. For information on the Almond Blossom Cruise you can go to or the VisitModesto YouTube channel where you can find pictures, maps, videos and more. Inquiries or brochure requests may also reach out to Visit Modesto at 209.526.5588 or contact Todd Aaronson, CEO at 209.573.0503 –

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