Visitors Bureau Lures Tourists to ‘Happy’ San Diego

The San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau recently launched an integrated campaign called “Happy Happens,” an $8.6 million effort positioning the city as a destination loaded with happy places and happy experiences.

Marketing research conducted last year showed visitor perceptions of San Diego to be favorable regarding the Southern California destination.  “In San Diego, you don’t have to chase down pleasurable moments, they just happen,” said Joe Terzi, interim president & CEO of the SDC&VB, in a statement. “Our new branding platform reflects our region’s unique ability to elevate our visitors’ moods and positive outlook. ‘Happy Happens’ has the power to deliver greater destination demand as it taps into and delivers on a national trend of what travelers and meeting delegates are looking for in a visitor experience-namely, a positive outlook.”

The consumer research was conducted by the bureau in conjunction with ad agency MeringCarson, Encinitas, Calif. The study surveyed tourists who had previously visited San Diego.

The campaign kicked off last month with a national cable TV spot. The ad also will air on local stations in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento, Calif., and San Francisco through early June. Regional magazine and newspaper insertions, as well as national and targeted online ads in key Western markets, also support the effort. The visitors bureau Web site,, has been refurbished with additional photography and a branded layout, along with a “Happy Deals” section offering savings and discounts.