Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tourism revenue down 8 percent

By Paul Huggins, Staff Writer, The Decatur Daily

With a drop in hotel occupancy, the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau ended fiscal 2009 with a $28,450 deficit.
The bureau received $679,192 in revenue during the past 12 months, $38,681 above what it projected in its budget, said Wade Weaver, bureau board of directors treasurer.
The bureau staff cut a little more than $10,000 from expenses to reduce losses, he said, but none of the cutbacks related to direct marketing promotions.
Lodging taxes collected by the city were down 8 percent, more than $54,000, from the previous year, and a big reason for the drop was fewer corporate travelers visited the city.
Tami Reist, bureau president, and Lori Boger, bureau group sales director, visited the city’s top 10 corporate clients this week to thank them for their business and inquire about prospects for next year.
Some local industries expect to bring in more out-of-town clients and workers, Reist said, but overall, corporate lodging taxes likely will remain flat during the next year.

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