Ashley Johnson

As a 16-plus year employee of the hospitality industry, Johnson serves as the President & CEO of Visit Laguna Beach, the city’s official destination marketing and management organization. During her tenure, she has strengthened and forged relationships with the City of Laguna Beach and the hospitality industry at large, to position Laguna Beach as a premier leisure and small meetings destination, both domestically and internationally.

She is an experienced destination marketer who has received awards for various advertising and digital media campaigns that keep Laguna Beach on the cutting edge; responsible for leading the innovation at Visit Laguna Beach. Johnson oversees all day-to-day operations, as well as the marketing, media relations, community outreach, advocacy, staff management/administration and the daily operating Official Visitors Center.

Johnson received her Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation in 2015 and serves on numerous industry boards and committees to include Destinations International, Destination Marketing Association of the West, Visit California and the California Travel Association, to name a few. She is a proud winner of an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Children’s Programming; as well as several other awards including ‘Top Businesswomen in Orange County’ by the Orange County Business Journal in 2021; a 2020 Poppy Award for “Best Overall Brand Identity” by Visit California; an Addy Award for Best Integrated Marketing Campaign; Best Dining Tourism Program in the Country; Best Destination Marketing Campaign in California; Best Social Media Campaign in the Country to Promote a Destination; and was named one of “30 Emerging Leaders Under 30” by the California Travel Association.

Johnson grew up in Orange County, CA, and graduated from the University of Arizona with a major in Journalism and a minor in Business. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys traveling, interior design and home renovations, gardening, hiking, attending concerts, antique/vintage shopping, and animal advocacy, and is a die-hard Raiders fan. 

----------------
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:
Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) Certification - (12/2015)
Destinations International
 
PROFESSIONAL BOARDS/COMMITTEES:
California Travel Association – Small DMO Leaders Committee Chair - (2022)
California Travel Association – Sustainability and Stewardship Committee - (2022)
Destinations International's Global Leadership Committee - (2022)
Destination Marketing Association West – Tech Summit Committee Co-Chair - (2020-Present)
Destinations International Professional Development Committee - (2021)
Destinations International PR & Communications Task Force - (2020-Present)
Economic Recovery and Business Development – City of Laguna Beach - (2020-Present)
Cultural Arts Re-Invigoration Task Force – City of Laguna Beach - (2020)
California Travel Association – Annual Summit Awards Chair - (2019-Present)
Orange County Visitors Association – Marketing Co-Chair - (2019)

AWARDS/AFFILIATIONS:

  • Top businesswomen in OC nomination (Orange County Business Journal) - (2021)
  • Poppy Award for Best Overall Brand Identity – Visit California - (2020)
  • Silver Addy - Integrated Advertising Campaign (American Advertising Awards) - (2019)
  • Adrian Award for Website Excellence – HSMAI - (2014)
  • 30 Emerging Leaders Under 30 – California Travel Association - (2012)
  • International Silver Magellan Award – Travel Weekly - (2012)  
  • Best Social Media Campaign to Promote a Destination NATJA - (2012) 
  • Best New Idea – Western Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus - (2012) 
  • Tourism Marketing Excellence Award-Best Sustainable Tourism Messages in Advertising – Visit California - (2010) 
  • Emmy Award (Pacific Southwest) for Outstanding Achievement in Children’s Programming  - (2009) 
  • Telly Award in Education Category - (2009) 
  • Best Marketing Campaign for a Destination – Visit California - (2007)