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Northern California’s Yosemite Gateway, Tuolumne County adds new PR staff and UK Trade Representation

January 12, 2018 Appointments / Movers & Shakers No Comments Email Email

Lisa Mayo, Executive Director of the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau has announced a three-prong Public Relations effort to broaden efforts to promote the assets of Tuolumne County in Northern California.

Katie Kirkland has filled a new position at the Bureau as Communications and Tourism Manager, moving from Black Oak Casino Resort where she was Lead Marketing Associate.   There she was involved in incentive promotions, sponsorships, communication of events, track and reporting and analytical reports.  Ms. Kirkland holds a B.A. in Communications from Cal State Stanislaus and a M.A.  in Communication Management from the University of Denver, where her concentration was Organizational Communication.

In a significant step to elevate the County’s entrance to Yosemite National Park as well as promote other unique destinations within the county borders, Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau has retained the services of Black Diamond in the U.K., a public relations and trade representation company.  Black Diamond represents Visit California, San Francisco Travel Association, Visit West Hollywood and several other California destinations.  The U.K. is consistently the number one international market for Tuolumne County as tracked through the County’s three managed Visitor Centers.   Black Diamond is charged with the execution of messaging which expands the visitor knowledge of Tuolumne County as the closest and most direct route to Yosemite from the Bay Area, accessibility of Gold Rush history, and the introduction of the County’s year-round destinations including Pinecrest Lake and Stanislaus National Forest. Lisa Mayo and Katie Kirkland will direct the efforts of Black Diamond. Tuolumne County’s travel spending in 2016 was $230 million, a $9 million increase from the previous year, which generated $7.6 million in local taxes.

The Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) operating seasonally into Yosemite reported a second consecutive year of significant growth for Tuolumne County ridership, up 71% over 2015-16, making this corridor a preferred route into the park.  This popular entrance regularly demonstrates the most robust visitor numbers; likely due to the dramatic scenery en route to the Park, breath-taking views of Yosemite Valley, easy access to the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, proximity to “Little Yosemite Valley” popularly known as Hetch Hetchy, and time maximizing proximity to Tuolumne Meadows.

“These figures tell us that our communication efforts are driving business to our County”, said Lisa Mayo.  “Now is the time to increase our coverage and promote all aspects of our destination and year-round.  We are delighted to add Katie Kirkland to our staff and grow our presence in the U.K.”

Katie Kirkland can be reached at, 209-533-4420.

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