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San Diego Tourism Authority offers program to increase diversity

People visiting Seaport Village, July 3, 2019.
Matt Hoffman
People visiting Seaport Village, July 3, 2019.

The tourism industry thrives on welcoming everyone who visits San Diego. Now, the San Diego Tourism Authority is also trying to welcome more diverse businesses into the fold.

A new program will allow selected businesses, owned by people of color, LGBTQ+, women and veterans to receive a package of tourism-related mentoring and advertising. The package includes membership in the tourism bureau. Ten businesses will be selected for the pilot program, but the bureau hopes to expand it in the future.

Tourism bureau officials say the program is aimed at opening up the industry to more diversity and equity. San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Lori Weisberg says the CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority Julie Coker referenced the racial reckoning happening around the country as an inspiration for the program.

Businesses eligible to apply include restaurants, retail outlets, activities and attractions, museums, transportation services, and meeting and event organizations.

The deadline for interested businesses to apply is Nov. 5.