By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau board on Monday hired a consultant to do a comprehensive tourism market analysis for Tupelo.
The board voted to pay North Carolina-based Berkeley Young, of Young Strategies, $9,500 to complete the first phase of the project.
The goal of the research, said CVB Executive Director Neal McCoy, is to “make sure we are getting the best return on our investment.”
Young Strategies, according to information distributed at the board meeting, has done more than 100 projects across the country, including work in Montgomery, Ala., Philadelphia, Pa., and Santa Clara, Calif.
For the first phase, Young will look at the CVB’s current in-house programs, such as sports and film development, to see how the efforts are going and what can be improved.
“If what we are doing is working, fine,” McCoy said. “Then we just want some backup of him saying, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing.'”
The CVB budgeted $10,000 for a research project this year. The city’s tourism and marketing department hasn’t conducted a market analysis or research project in at least seven years, McCoy said.
The second phase will cost $29,500 and will study Tupelo’s lodging situation and visitor demographics. McCoy said he hopes to be able to budget the money for that phase in the next fiscal year.
Also at the board meeting, the CVB reported that Tupelo’s tourism sales tax revenues grew 10.66 percent in November, bringing the annual average so far to 1.36 percent.
The revenues come from a 2 percent tax on hotels, motels and restaurants in Tupelo.
Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.