Tourism revenue still rising

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau is on track for another record year when it comes to tourism sales tax revenue.
Revenue has grown for seven of the eight months so far in this fiscal year, according to figures released Monday at the CVB’s monthly board meeting.
March revenue, which is reported in May, grew 12.11 percent over March 2011. The city collected $339,748 for the month.
The revenue comes from a 2 percent tax on hotels, motels and restaurants. The Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel was among the events held in March.
For the fiscal year, the CVB has collected $2,448,790, which is up 12.05 percent from this time frame in fiscal year 2011.
“We’ve had some good months,” said City Clerk Kim Hanna. “We’re expecting to exceed budget” for revenue.
For the year, the CVB has $357,983 more in revenue than expenditures. It has a savings fund balance of $2.8 million.
The figures led board member Bruce Patel to suggest during the board meeting that it’s time for the CVB to start spending money.
“I just don’t want to get accused of hoarding the money,” Patel said.
Neal McCoy, board chairman and executive director of the CVB, said the board will discuss spending plans at its July meeting and at the August retreat.
“We’ll spend it where we think it’s most valuable – ads, campaigns or products that will drive visitation,” McCoy said.
carlie.kollath@journalinc.com