It’s Your Money: The cost of marketing and promoting a city

It’s Your Money: The cost of marketing and promoting a city

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Visitors to the beach generate money from the dollars they spend at local businesses but also for the city by the taxes they pay on their accommodations.

North Myrtle Beach expects to earn $3.6 million dollars from the accommodation tax in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, according to its annual budget.

While full-time residents do not pay this tax, the way the money is used impacts residents.

The tax and hospitality fees makes up 18 percent of the city’s budget.

By state law, 30 percent of the money collected from the A-Tax is required to be used for advertising and promotion of tourism.

In North Myrtle Beach the Chamber of Commerce handles this work. The chamber received a check for nearly $750,000 for marketing from July through September.

The chamber said this will be one of the highest checks it receives for the year. The annual budget estimates the chamber will receive $1.2 million dollars in 2019 for marketing and promotion.

North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce’s vice president George DuRant explained the chamber uses these funds for a multimedia campaign involving social media, websites and emerging digital technologies. These campaigns target out-of-state visitors in areas like eastern Tennessee, northern Georgia, and the D.C. area.

Durant said while residents don’t pay the tax, they do benefit from the way the city spends the money.

“Our city would look very different if we didn’t have all of the wonderful things that the visitors provide for us. We call it a quality of life issue and by that I mean, you look at the recreational facilities, the great infrastructure we have, the entertainment, the dining we have, purely because of the dollars that are spent on tourism and those tourists only come because we have inspired them to come here based on the revenue we’ve been able to receive from accommodation taxes,” he said.

Another 65 percent of the tax is used on tourist related programs. DuRant explained this can be for anything from events to public safety officers to infrastructure.

For a list of all the services and items North Myrtle Beach plans on using its accommodation tax on in 2019, see below:

According to documents from the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, it received $2.1 million for three-fourths of 2018 from the Myrtle Beach Accommodation Tax.

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