TUPELO, Miss—The Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau (TCVB) announced today that its FY’16 collection of the two percent tourism tax on hotels and restaurants was up 5.6% over FY’15. Tax collections are the number one indicator of success for the bureau.
“We are a research-based organization so every effort put forth by this bureau is directed by our research. To have a 5.6% increase over last year’s tax receipts shows us that we are headed in the right direction,” said Neal McCoy, TCVB Executive Director. “
Several factors played in to the success of TCVB in FY’16. First, through utilizing its Comprehensive Destination Market Analysis conducted by Young Strategies, the bureau devised a strategy to grow its leisure market, with an emphasis on weekend visitation. Through concentrated marketing, public relations, and sales efforts, the TCVB has seen its weekend visitation numbers grow based on data gleaned from weekly Smith Travel Reports focused on hotel occupancy numbers.
Second, the bureau gave away over $80,000K to 14 area event organizers through its Event Match Grant Program. The program awards marketing dollars for the promotion of special events and festivals that attract overnight visitors to Tupelo.
Finally, tourism investment in Tupelo has contributed significantly to growth in tax receipts. The completion of the Elvis Presley Birthplace Trail and downtown projects have played a role in increased visitation. The opening of new exhibits at the Elvis Presley Birthplace have brought new visitors to the attraction from all over the world. Investment is continuing in the Barnes Shopping District as new restaurants and shops have opened and are being constructed.
“While we are excited for the increase, we know that our mission never ends here at the Tupelo CVB,” said McCoy. “We will continue to promote visitation to Tupelo through our leisure marketing, sales teams, and public relations efforts.”