Visit Oakland, Oakland’s official destination marketing organization, along with its board of directors, welcomes Alison Best as the new President & CEO of the organization. The announcement comes after an extensive search over the past several months conducted by Horizon Hospitality.
Best comes to Visit Oakland with more than five years of experience in executive positions at the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau, including Senior Vice President of Business Development, Director of Sales, and Vice President of Sales and Services. Prior to this, Best, who is a Canadian native, held executive management positions with Tourism Whistler and Uniglobe Advance Travel. She attended the Canadian Tourism College in Vancouver, BC with a diploma in Tourism and Host Training and received her Sociology degree from the University of Victoria.
“On behalf of the board of directors, we are extremely excited that Alison will be joining Visit Oakland as the new President & CEO,” said Sima Patel, Chair of the Board for Visit Oakland. “Alison has extensive experience in the tourism industry and will be a great asset to the organization.”
In addition to her experience in the travel and tourism industry, Best is also a Certified Destination Marketing Executive CDME, considered to be the highest educational achievement in the hospitality industry. The CDME is intended for senior-level professionals and is held by less than 500 people worldwide. Best also serves on several Destination Management Association International DMAI boards, including the DMAI Foundation and Advocacy Committee.
“You don’t have to look too far to find a buzz about Oakland - from The New York Times to Oprah Magazine, people are talking about the city as a great place to visit,” said Best. “I am looking forward to working with the team at Visit Oakland to turn that buzz into a strong destination marketing plan that will sustain and grow the positive awareness. I plan to work closely with the staff and to collaborate with other business leaders in the community to develop strategic and creative ways to grow tourism in the destination and to position Oakland as a world-class travel destination.”