Visit Visalia Kicks off Autism Awareness Month by “Lighting It Up Blue” 

City on track to become California’s first Certified Autism Destination

Visalia, Calif. (March 28, 2022) -  Visit Visalia and its local tourism partners are kicking off Autism Awareness month in April by celebrating “Light It Up Blue” Day on Saturday, April 2, 2022. They join organizations locally and around the world who will participate in this unique global initiative that helps raise awareness about autism.

Visalia will Light It Up Blue beginning April 2 when local businesses will be lit up with blue light to show support for the Autism Awareness initiative. Along with Visit Visalia, other local businesses that will light up their offices include: Visalia Convention Center, Visalia Marriott Hotel, the Visalia Wyndham Hotel and Valley Oaks Golf Course. Valley Oaks Golf Course is the first golf course in California to be designated a Certified Autism Center.

Autism awareness events are planned in Visalia throughout the month of April and include:

Visit Visalia named a 2022 Visit California Poppy Award Finalist

Visit Visalia was named a Poppy Award finalist, the most prestigious tourism industry award in California, for their work to become California’s first destination marketing organization designated a Certified Autism Center (CAC) by IBCCES.  Visit California, the state’s top tourism advocacy organization, recognizes leading tourism marketing efforts that help promote California as a top global travel destination in an award ceremony every two years at the Outlook Forum industry event. Visit Visalia was proud to be among the three finalists in the Cooperative Marketing category that included San Francisco Travel Association and Visit Modesto-Cultivar Strategies.

Continuing to Grow

A growing number of local tourism businesses, as part of an effort initiated by Visit Visalia, have also pursued the CAC designation through IBCCES, which means visitors have access to a multitude of trained and certified options when looking for entertainment, recreation, and travel options in the area. Visalia businesses that are designated Certified Autism Centers include: 

Certified Autism Destination

The City of Visalia is on target to be the first city in California to be designated a Certified Autism Destination. Along with the businesses that have already achieved certification, additional businesses have begun the necessary CAC training. Once complete, IBCCES will recognize Visalia as a Certified Autism Destination. Families traveling with someone with autism can travel to Visalia confidently knowing that these tourism businesses understand their needs and can provide helpful accommodation and understanding. (

Autism Facts

Autism Spectrum Disorder is no longer in the shadows, with 75 million people worldwide living with Autism, and about five million adults in the United States. Autism diagnoses are on the rise each year with about 1 in 44 children in the U.S. identified as having ASD according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. ( It is estimated that 1 in 6 people have sensory needs and millions of adults are on the spectrum but undiagnosed.

Visalia is known for having the famous Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in its backyard. The city’s natural charm, welcoming locals and abundance of experiences are why this Central California city is much more than a gateway to the great outdoors. Along with great outdoor adventures and the arts, Visalia’s local food scene, from thriving food truck culture to fine dining, offers foodie lovers even more to explore. We look forward to greeting all travelers.

For more information or to book your stay, go to



Visit Visalia is a collaboration of the Visalia Tourism and Marketing District and the Visalia Convention and Visitors Bureau (VCVB) dedicated to marketing, advertising, public relations and other promotional efforts that inspire travel to the City of Visalia. Visit Visalia works closely with local lodging properties, restaurants and attractions to foster interest in Visalia as a year-round destination for leisure, family, and meeting and convention travelers. For more information about Visit Visalia go to and follow Visit Visalia on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Media Contact:

Visit Visalia
Suzanne Bianco, Tourism Marketing Director
(559) 334-0141

©2024 Visalia Convention & Visitors Bureau
P.O. Box 2734 Visalia, CA 93279
112 E Main St, Visalia, CA 93291
(800) 524-0303 : (559) 334-0141
Visitor Center Hours
Monday - Friday 8am-5pm