The Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau received an award for “Best 2008 Visitors Guide” from the California Travel and Tourism Commission at the California Conference on Tourism in Palm Desert last month.

The Convention & Visitors Bureau was chosen out of three finalists for Best Visitors Guide from a “people’s choice” vote of over 200 California Travel Industry professionals.

Cities submitted entries for one of nine categories selected by the California Travel and Tourism Commission. Each award category had two winners — “judge’s choice” and “people’s choice.” Categories ranged from best overall marketing campaign to best Web site and best visitor’s guide to best TV advertisement.

Kim Baker, Convention & Visitors Bureau director of marketing, said the original goal behind the Santa Monica visitors guide was to attract “international long-haul travelers.”

“Our recent economic impact studies showed that Santa Monica visitors were actually both domestic and international,” said Baker. “With this knowledge, we took both audiences into account when developing the 2008 guide.”

The 2008 Santa Monica Official Visitors Guide was designed and published by Striker Media Group. The new guide contains information about the city and includes new items, including “green” facts, “Only in Santa Monica” information and new photos.

“It’s an honor to win the award for Best Visitors Guide in 2008,” said Lyndell Gooch, Striker Media Group publisher.

Copies of the guide are free and available at any of the three Santa Monica Visitors locations, online at, at Santa Monica hotels, or by calling (800) 544-5319.