WHAT IS A TORUISM BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT?

Provided by Civitas, Sacremento, CA

Tourism improvement districts go by many names – tourism business improvement district, tourism marketing district, even hotel marketing district. But no matter what it is called, a tourism improvement district is a revolutionary way to fund destination marketing programs. In recent years, the tourism improvement district model has evolved from hotel districts, to restaurant districts, to winery and brewery districts.

Tourism Improvement Districts

Each year, more than 160 tourism improvement districts throughout the United States raise nearly $350 million for destination marketing. These districts usually include all hotels in a city or county (or in some cases, multiple cities and the county). They place a charge on all hotels, which is typically a percentage of room night sales or a fixed dollar amount per night. Rates are usually 1-2 percent or dollars per night, but can be as high as 4-5 percent or dollars per night.

The charge is usually passed on to the customer and funds raised are typically collected by the local government in the same manner as bed taxes. However, unlike bed taxes they cannot be spent on general programs by the local government. Instead, they are directed to a destination marketing organization, and must be used on programs that put more heads in beds.

The services funded by a tourism improvement district typically include marketing, sales, promotions, website and Internet presence, and group sales. Sometimes, they even include capital improvements or other projects designed to make the destination more appealing to potential visitors.

The term of a tourism improvement district varies. It can be an annual levy, a 5-10 year term, or even longer in some places. A 2016 survey of tourism districts revealed that the majority of districts took between 6-12 months to form.

Following is a list of entities across the country that currently have Tourism Business Improvement Districts. This list was provided by Civitas in Sacramento, CA who assisted the Topeka Lodging Association in the establishment of our Tourism Business Improvement District.

The funding provided by the Topeka Tourism Business District Fee is committed to the design and operation of the downtown plaza. This plaza will become an entertainment ‘hotspot’ for locals as well as visitors. The plaza is being built in the downtown core of Topeka and will be the center of a restaurant and retail market that visitors will not want to miss when in Topeka. The plaza is currently in the final design stages and construction is projected to begin very early in 2019 and is expected to be complete by March of 2020. The downtown plaza effort has currently received over $5,000,000 in corporate donations and is expected to receive another $3,000,000 by the end of 2018.

The Topeka Lodging Association was the impetus behind the initiative to build this plaza as we recognized that Topeka needed a major venue like this to truly make Topeka a destination that visitors would want to see. The first steps were taken by TLA back in 2014 when the local hotel community solicited the City to reinstate a 1% bed tax that was due to expire and dedicate the funds used by the tax to build a downtown plaza. The plaza had been a dream of community leaders for years but the means to realize that dream a reality never materialized until the Topeka Lodging Association came forward with this renewal request.

That was later followed in 2017 by a request from TLA to initiate this Topeka Tourism Business District fee to provide funding for the daily operation of the plaza. While this fee will not provide 100% of the required funding for operation it will certainly provide a large part of the needed funding.

It is the desire of every community to be recognized as a destination and have travelers and tourists want to visit their community and share the good things we have to offer. This plaza will become the catalyst to make that happen.

We at the Topeka Lodging Association welcome you to Topeka and trust you will take time to visit and get to know us.

Thank you,

Topeka Lodging Association

 

 

Alaska Travel Industry Association

Amador Council of Tourism

Beverly Hills Convention and Visitors Bureau

Big Bear Visitors Bureau

Bishop Chamber of Commerce

Burbank Hospitality Association

Business Improvement Districts Scotland

Butte County

California Travel Association

Calistoga Tourism Improvement District

Camarillo Chamber of Commerce

Carlsbad Conference & Visitors Bureau

Carmel Hotel Improvement District

Casper Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Choose Chicago

Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce

City of Agoura Hills

City of Alameda

City of Anahiem

City of Big Bear Lake

City of Buena Park

City of Burbank

City of Camarillo

City of Coronado

City of Dana Point

City of Elk Grove

City of Healdsburg

City of Las Vegas

City of Morro Bay

City of Oceanside

City of Ojai

City of Pleasant Hill

City of Stockton

City of Torrance

City of Twentynine Palms

Claremont Chamber of Commerce

Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau

Colorado State Tourism Office

Coronado Tourism Improvement District

Costa Mesa Conference & Visitor Bureau

Destination Bristol

Destination Consultancy Group

Discover Lancaster

Discover Newport

Discover Torrance

El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce

Explore Butte County

Fairfield Conference and Visitors Bureau

Feather River College

Folsom Tourism Bureau

Fresno-Clovis Convention and Visitors Bureau

Gilroy Visitors Bureau

Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce

Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce

Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau

Greater Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau

Greater Palm Springs Conference and Visitor Bureau

Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce

Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau

Hillsborough County Hotel Motel Association

Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Humboldt Lodging Alliance

Huntington Beach Marketing and Visitors Bureau

Iowa Destination Marketing Alliance

Irvine Chamber of Commerce

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism

Laguna Beach Vistors & Conference Bureau

Lake Arrowhead Chamber of Commerce

Lodi Conference & Visitors Bureau

Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau

Los Angeles Tourism Marketing District

Madera County Tourism Business Improvement District

Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce

Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau

Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau

Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau

Mendocino County Lodging Association

Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Morro Bay Tourism Bureau

National City Chamber of Commerce

New York State DMO Association

Newport Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau

Oakland Conference & Visitors Bureau

Ohio Travel Association

Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce

Ontario Convention Center

Orange County Tourism Council

Orange County Visitors Association

Oroville Area Chamber of Commerce

Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau

Pismo Beach Hospitality Association

Placer County Visitors Bureau

Rancho Cordova Travel & Tourism Corporation

Redding Convention & Visitors Bureau

Richmond Convention and Visitors Bureau

Ridgecrest Convention and Visitors Bureau

Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau

San Bernardino County

San Diego Lodging Industry Association

San Diego Tourism Marketing District Corporation

San Jose Hotel Business Improvement Area

Santa Cruz Hospitality & Lodging Association

Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce

Santa Monica Travel and Tourism

Siskiyou County Economic Development Council

Sonoma Tourism Improvement District Corporation

South Lake Tahoe Tourism Improvement District

Squaw Valley Ski Holdings LLC

Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association

Tennessee Tourism Committee

Texas Travel Industry Association

Travel Portland

Travel Yamhill Valley

Trinity County Chamber of Commerce

Tri-Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau

Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce

Tulsa Convention & Visitors Bureau

US Travel Association

Vacaville Conference and Visitors Bureau

Ventura County Lodging Association

Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau

Visalia Convention and Visitors Bureau

Visit Anaheim

Visit Berkeley

Visit Buena Park

Visit Buffalo Niagara

Visit Carmel

Visit Concord

Visit Denver

Visit Eau Claire

Visit Elk Grove

Visit Jacksonville

Visit Laguna Beach

Visit Lompoc

Visit Marin

Visit Mobile

Visit Napa Valley

Visit Newport Beach

Visit Norman

Visit Oakland

Visit Oceanside

Visit Plumas County

Visit San Luis Obispo County

Visit Santa Barbara

Visit Santa Ynez Valley

Visit Spokane

Visit Stockton

Visit Temecula Valley

Visit TriValley

Visit Tulsa

Visit Vacaville

Visit West Hollywood

Visit Wichita

Wisconsin Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus

Yolo County Visitors Bureau

Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau

Yosemite-Mariposa County Tourism Bureau

Yuba Sutter Chamber of Commerce