Tourism Council to discuss 2019 marketing campaign planning timeline

The Tourism Council expects to discuss how it will craft its 2019 marketing plan and consider a staff proposal to create an advisory committee at its meeting Tuesday.

The discussion around the 2019 marketing plan will focus on the timeline for how the campaign will be planned and budgeted, council interim executive director Bob Harris said.

The draft schedule lays out multiple meetings and deadlines for the plan to be created by staff and outside public relations and creative agencies on retainer with the chamber through December. A presentation of that campaign and its budget is expected to be presented to the council Dec. 18, Harris said.

Also on Tuesday’s docket is a discussion about a proposed marketing advisory committee.

This entity would exist to provide advice to the council and be a “sounding board” to develop programs, according to a staff memo to the council.

The marketing advisory committee would consist of 20 individuals, ranging from Williamsburg, James City and York economic and tourism development directors and restaurant owners to tourism attraction executives and retail representatives, according to the memo.

“We want it because everyone comes with a different lens,” Harris said.

The council operates as a subcommittee of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance. It was created by Senate Bill 942, which went into effect July 1. The legislation increased the sales tax by 1 percent in Williamsburg, James City and York, money that will be used by the council to market the region to overnight tourists. The council also will use the existing $2 transient occupancy tax to market to overnight tourists.

Based on 2017 tax revenue figures, the Historic Triangle Marketing Fund, which is overseen by the council, is estimated to net $10.4 million in 2019, Harris said at the council’s meeting on Aug. 21.

Revenue generated by the sales tax increase and the $2 transient occupancy tax will be split in half between the council and the localities — Williamsburg, James City and York — based on where the taxes were collected.

The council also expects to be updated on the search for a permanent executive director, which is being conducted by a search committee made up of several tourism council members.

The executive position was included as part of SB 942 and would guide the council’s marketing efforts. The council is made up of elected officials from Williamsburg, James City and York as well as representatives of tourism destinations like Colonial Williamsburg.

The council is slated to assume regional marketing responsibilities from the Williamsburg Area Destination Marketing Committee, a subcommittee of the chamber that’s being phased out in favor of the council. A transition plan accepted by the council Aug. 21 calls for the committee to continue its marketing plan for this year, with the transition to the council occurring in 2019.

The meeting is open to the public and includes a public comment period.

Want to go?

When: 1 p.m., Tuesday.

Where: Stryker Center, 412 N. Boundary St.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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