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Elevate Your Business

San Diego Tourism Authority’s Tourism Accelerator

For Businesses Owned by People of Color, LGBTQ+, Women and Veterans

For San Diego's tourism industry to thrive, it needs to reflect the diversity of the destination, build equity and promote inclusion. Key to those efforts is San Diego Tourism Authority's new Tourism Accelerator, which provides resources for businesses owned by people of color, LGBTQ+, women and veterans. This new program offers a full suite of services designed to help these unique and growing businesses be more successful and better build connections in the local tourism industry.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

SDTA Tourism Accelerator Sponsor Logos

Accelerator Program Benefits

Sponsored by Bank of America and San Diego Gas & Electric, the Accelerator will offer participants a program of support valued at over $10,000:

  • Financial coaching from Bank of America, legal support from Procopio as well as two free quarter-page ads in the San Diego Business Journal.*
  • Complimentary Membership in SDTA and free admission to select SDTA events as well as special access to SDTA senior staff, board members and program investors.
  • A voucher for a course through UC San Diego Extension.**
  • A $1,000 credit to use on SDTA's digital advertising platforms.
  • Coaching from a dedicated mentor who is a successful operator or owner of a tourism or hospitality business.

Selection Criteria

  • Applicants must be tourism and hospitality businesses based in the San Diego region and owned by people of color, LGBTQ+, women or veterans.
  • Organizations must have operated for at least one year to qualify.
  • Business categories may be, but are not limited to, restaurants, retail, activities and attractions, museums, transportation, and meeting and event services.
  • Excluded businesses: Any type of accommodation, airline or cruise line.
  • Current or former Members of the San Diego Tourism Authority (and all affiliated organizations) are not eligible.

Selection Process

  • A diverse panel, comprised of program sponsors and San Diego Tourism Authority board and staff, will review applications and select participants.
  • Aside from being tourism businesses owned by people of color, LGBTQ+, women or veterans, other selection criteria include: viability of the business model, business needs and commitment to community service.
  • Businesses not selected are eligible for a 50% discount on SDTA Membership for the current Membership term.

2021 Cohort

Access Trax LLC: Provider of portable access mats that ensure stable surfaces for mobility device users to easily access outdoor recreation over sand, grass, gravel and snow.
Owner - Kelly Twichel
Woman-owned business

Alternative Strategies: A full-service marketing and PR agency focused exclusively on the hospitality industry.
Owner – William Lopez
Hispanic/Latinx, LGBTQ+-owned business

Common Theory Public House:  Bar and restaurant. 
Owner – Cristian Liang
Asian-owned business

Fargo's BBQ/Jamaican Cuisine: Jamaican cuisine caterer and food truck.
Owner - Jacinth (Elaine) Williams
Black, Jamaican, woman-owned business

Finest City Improv:  Improvisational comedy shows and classes.
Owner - Amy Lisewski
LGBTQ+, woman-owned business

Game Face Video SD: Creative-youth developer and technical training company in the field of video and photography.
Owner – Regina V. Greenlee
Black, veteran-owned business

Gossip Grill: Lesbian/LGBTQ+bar.
Owner – Moe Girton
LGBTQ+, woman-owned business

It's In the Details: A boutique travel and event company with concierge-style services.
Owner – Nita Cintron
Black, woman-owned business

Pop Up Picnic Co.: Luxury picnic event company.
Owner – Lauren Kimmons
Woman-owned business

Social Artistry LLC: Event company with a focus on empowering diverse communities.
Owner – Lauren Garces
Asian, woman-owned business

More Information

2022 Deadline

  • Early 2022

Contact Info

*Current advertisers with the San Diego Business Journal are ineligible for the advertising benefit. Advertisements must run on or before December 31, 2022.
** Maximum value of the voucher is $500.00 towards the enrollment of one (1) class. There is no cash value. If the value of the course selected is below $500.00 there will be no refund on the balance.

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