Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Visit Oakland will officially roll out its new mobile visitor center as the organization hits the road for a California road trip September 21-23. The new mobile—aptly named "Ray" to symbolize Oakland's status as the "Sunny Side of the Bay"—will make appearances along the coast in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Venice Beach and downtown Los Angeles.
While on the road, Visit Oakland will promote its exact location on social media using the hashtag #RayOnTheRoad, encouraging social media followers to use the same hashtag when they spot Ray. Followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will be directed to Ray's location, where Visit Oakland will be highlighting "Oakland Originals"—items having originated or partly invented in Oakland—including the Popsicle, Mai Tai and fortune cookie.
One grand-prize winner (selected from sign ups along the tour and #RayOnTheRoad user-generated content) will receive a complimentary "Weekend in Oakland" prize package, including round-trip flights for two to Oakland, two nights at the Waterfront Hotel, two passes to the Oakland Museum of California, a $75 gift certificate to Bourbon & Beef, and a $50 gift certificate to District Oakland. Visit Oakland will also be documenting Ray’s daily adventures from its newly launched blog, The Oakland Ray, a site where local bloggers and Oakland experts will contribute behind-the-scenes perspectives on ways to explore Oakland.
Find Ray throughout California at the following locations: Saturday, September 21 at 12:30 p.m. – Outside the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row Saturday, September 21 at 8:30 p.m. – Mother's Tavern in San Luis Obispo Sunday, September 22 at 11:30 a.m. – Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show in Santa Barbara Sunday, September 22 at 6:00 p.m. – Santa Monica Monday, September 23 – Downtown Los Angeles (11:30 a.m.) and Venice Beach (2:30 p.m.)
Throughout the year, Visit Oakland will utilize Ray at marquee festivals and regional events to distribute materials, information and Oakland swag. The vehicle, powered by One Toyota of Oakland and wrapped by Oakland apparel company Oaklandish, will be a key tool for the organization to serve visitors both in-and out-of-market.
"We've recognized the need to be more accessible to visitors, both within our destination and outside of the region. Our mobile visitor center will allow us to connect personally with visitors in various areas, providing them with recommendations on things to do and see," said Alison Best, president & CEO of Visit Oakland. "Oakland is a hip, creative destination, and Ray is pretty cool. He is a great representative of our brand."
For a private viewing of the vehicle and photo opportunities, please contact Lindsay Wright at lindsay(at)visitoakland(dot)org, (510) 208-0561.
About Visit Oakland: Visit Oakland is a non-profit organization marketing the City of Oakland as a travel destination. Visit Oakland offers a wide variety of complimentary services and materials for travelers and meeting planners interested in experiencing Oakland. For more information, see visitoakland.org.