The Santa Rosa County Tourism Development Committee (TDC) approved $61,225 in grants Tuesday, June 7 to fund 18 events such as festivals, 5Ks, concerts, parades and even butterfly tagging in the county.
The funds are part of the bed-tax budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal years. Bed taxes are collected on visitors to the county who pay for lodging accommodations from 0-6 months.
Pending approval by the County Commission in September, the funds will allow local organizations to promote and deliver events to pull in visitors, and tax dollars, to the county.
Grants are given to each event at a maximum amount of $5,000. The funds can then be used for advertising and specific expenses for the event.
“It is intended to be used for marketing an event that draws in tourists from out of the county to increase overnight visitation,” Tourism Development Director Julie Morgan said. “We are happy to support these events. This is meant to be seed money for the first three years of an event. Scholarships, prize money beverages that is not an intended use.”
The TDC budgeted a possible $75,000 for the grants, and Morgan said the remaining $13,775 of bed taxes will go back into the pool to be used for other tourism projects.
Read the full article in the June 16 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe to your community newspaper.