As a longtime hospitality professional, Allie Asuncion only sees her new role with the San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA) as a natural fit for the next step in her professional career. Accepting the position on Feb. 21, she will oversee the team responsible for leading site visits for hotel sellers, lead the client services team that works with their booked citywide clients, and create memorable familiarization (FAM) trips for clients.
“I am most excited for the opportunity to continue the legacy of the “Site Experience” program and take it to new levels,” she explains. “SDTA has created an incredible tool for planners to experience San Diego at an elevated level and I’m grateful to be a part of it.” With a long, 15-year history as the former director of Petco Park Events, Asuncion will bring expertise and a fresh perspective on FAM excursions and client events in the seaside city.
Her previous work with the Padres and Petco Park Events focused on convention business, building relationships with citywide clients, and convention center partners. She notes that the Petco Park Events team had an integral role in opening the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, contracting all sorts of special events to the new waterfront venue. “The team was incredibly driven and creative, growing the business exponentially during my tenure,” she reminisces.
Asuncion attended Central Michigan University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and beginning her hospitality career in restaurants and an internship with Marriott Hotels. “My first events job was with the San Diego Convention Center Corporation where I started as a sales assistant before moving into a sales manager role,” she says. “I learned the intricate details of booking the convention center and hotel room blocks while building irreplaceable relationships with the San Diego hospitality community.”
When describing what she enjoys most about her work in hospitality, Asuncion reflects on her passion for building long-lasting relationships with both her clients and her team, alongside marketing a city she fell in love with as soon as she arrived. “From the moment I moved to San Diego I knew it was a special place, and now to promote the destination for hotel meetings, conventions, and events is a dream come true.”