From start to finish, December was a busy month filled with media activity, though with some impact from the COVID Omicron spike.   

The month began with the Media Relations team’s first media mission since the start of the pandemic – the first return to Mexico since December 2019. A three-day series of media meetings, interviews and events successfully resulted in widespread media coverage of San Antonio as a must-visit destination that continues to be safe and welcoming to the Mexican traveler. Visit San Antonio also took the opportunity of the mission to introduce our new President & CEO, Marc Anderson, to the media and have them hear directly from him on his vision for San Antonio’s future. Media and social media influencers joined the Visit San Antonio team, many for their first time attending a gathering during the pandemic, to celebrate San Antonio’s return to Mexico.   

December was, of course, the culmination of the holiday travel pitching and coverage efforts. The Visit San Antonio team continued participating in television interviews and hosting influencers in the destination to ensure as many potential travelers as possible would be inspired to safely visit our fair city.   

In mid-December, Visit San Antonio was elated to welcome the James Beard Foundation with their first-ever event in our city, Taste America: San Antonio. The event at the new Dashi Kitchen featured a collaboration between Johnny Hernandez and Dashi’s team of Kristina Zhao and Jian Li. Our team worked to promote this event to regional and national markets and invited social media influencers to experience the event as well as San Antonio’s impressive culinary scene.   

As we closed out the calendar year, the Media Relations team was also looking toward 2022 and how to best position San Antonio in the new year. While pitching was already underway to promote all that is new in 2022, the efforts continue well into the new year. If you have new developments and/or updated/upgraded experiences that will debut sometime in 2022, please be sure to let our team so we can include in our media conversations.   

Key Metrics 

The Communications Department recorded $177,530 in outer market earned media value from 37 outer market media placements logged in December, with the quantity and values still affected by the pandemic changes in media and travel. Coverage recorded for the month included Fodor’s Travel, Family Forum Travel, KHOU-TV’s Great Day Houston, KEYE-TV’s We Are Austin, Texas Highways, YoloTX, Texas Lifestyle & Travel Magazine, Dominican Abroad, Essential West, Travel Pulse, Splash Magazine; and Mexico’s Publimetro, Vive USA, Revista Cosas, Invertour, Ladevi, Travel Report, Periodico Viaje, MDC, Trafico Magazine, Pasillo Turistico, Roger Gonzalez (@RogerGzz), Conexion Turistica, Nitu, Like a Tourist, Yo Soy Viajera (@YoSoyViajera), Onda Lasser, and Report News.   

Top Feature Stories/Projects 

The top media coverage for December showcase two major projects at the end of the calendar year: holiday travel and our first media mission since the start of the pandemic. Holiday travel pitching and resulting media coverage are always a major tentpole of our pitching calendar and it was a bigger effort in 2021. Media coverage of San Antonio for the holidays included regional and national media lauding San Antonio’s beauty and unique mix of cultures. At the end of November and beginning of December, the Visit San Antonio Tourism Development and Media Relations & Communications teams made our first media mission since December 2019 to Mexico City. During the mission, we took the opportunity to share San Antonio’s continued commitment to being a welcoming and safe destination as well as introduce our new President & CEO, Marc Anderson, to the Mexican market. Coverage resulting from the mission showed the trip was a success, with Mexican media producing stories on San Antonio’s place as the top destination in the U.S. for Mexican travelers and Marc’s vision for an elevated destination that will continue to inspire their audience.