Tallahassee, Fla. (Sept. 22, 2016) – One of the little known benefits of tourism’s contributions is the $1.7 million of hotel bed taxes that the Leon County Tourist Development Council reinvests in the economy through grants to local events and activities that both residents and visitors enjoy.
Leon County allocates tourist development tax – also known as “bed tax” -- funds from its annual budget to help local groups and organizations host events that either have demonstrated a history of or the potential for drawing out-of-town visitors to the area.
More than $500,000 of grant funding is available through the Leon County Division of Tourism Development (Visit Tallahassee) for signature, special and sporting events taking place in the county. Leon County also allocates $1.25 million from the TDT to the Council on Culture and Arts (COCA) for cultural tourism marketing, arts and culture events, and facilities.
To qualify for a grant, events must take place from Oct. 1, 2016 – Sept. 30, 2017 and attract overnight visitors that use hotel and motel rooms in the county. Funding considerations also include preference for events held during traditionally low hotel occupancy periods, the number of out-of-town visitors and the scope and duration of the event. Special and sporting event grant funding has been awarded for the 2016-17 fiscal year and the application process for signature grant funding is currently open and the deadline for applying is Oct. 24.
Current and past grant recipients include Springtime Tallahassee, Word of South Festival, Market Days, Red Hills Horse Trials, Florida History Days State Competition, Tallahassee Latin Dance Festival, LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival, Southern Shakespeare Festival, Children’s Week, the Reenactment of the Battle of Natural Bridge, Tallahassee Marathon, ProStyle Tallahassee Volleyball Invitational and USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger, among others.
For more information on grants awarded through Leon County Division of Tourism Development (Visit Tallahassee), CLICK HERE.
For more information on grants awarded through COCA, CLICK HERE.
For more information, contact Lauren Pace, Leon County Tourism Development, at (850) 606-2322 / PaceL@LeonCountyFL.gov or Mathieu Cavell, Leon County Community and Media Relations, at (850) 606-5300 / cmr@LeonCountyFL.gov.