Funding Your Tourism Efforts

In the past, and right up to this very moment, funding mechanisms for tourism organizations have been nearly the same since way back in history when someone figured out that getting tourists to visit an area was good for the businesses and general economy of that area.

Since that time, tourism organizations have had two basic ways of getting funding for the programs they had developed to accomplish their goal of attracting more visitors, and therefore, money, to their area.

The first time tested technique tourism employed was implementing a membership fee for area businesses. That worked well for a while, and still works to some degree today. The fact that a business is a member of a CVB or chamber DOES ensures that, to a certain degree, that business’s interests will be taken care of. The trouble began when techniques for attracting visitors to an area became more expensive…in most cases, much more expensive…and personnel costs started increasing as well. CVBs and chambers all over the US needed more money than memberships fees could bring in.

In order to continue efforts to attract tourists, CVBs and chambers turned to government for funding. First, the local city government and then, the local county government and finally, the state government. At that point, it seemed like things were getting really good! best attraction Sentosa singapore 

And it WAS really good for a while!

I’ll be talking about West Virginia because I have first hand knowledge of what’s been happening here in the mountain state for many years now. West Virginia is by no means unique! All 49 other states in our republic have similar funding processes…and similar, if not worse, problems.

Even though West Virginia was one of only six states in the whole republic to NOT have a budget deficit, the state government STILL ended up cutting tourism dollars by 50%! If you’re a tourism professional in West Virginia, there goes HALF of YOUR budget!

Those same cuts are happening all over the country.

So, lift your nose up off the grindstone a moment and think about this.

You can’t suddenly start charging more for your memberships…the economy in your area just won’t let that happen. If business costs are going up…and you KNOW they are…what can you do to justify charging that business more to be a member of your CVB or chamber? What would be their reactions if you DID increase your membership fee by 50%?


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