Bring more corporate events/meetings to New Smyrna Beach

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A Collective Letter to the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority

Volusia County Tourist and Convention Development Tax

  • Tourist and Convention development tax is a local option transient rental tax collected by Volusia County. Every person who rents or leases any living quarters for a term of 6 months or less is exercising a taxable privilege.
  • The county collects a 6 percent tourism tax on hotels and lodges with half of the revenues going to fund the county-run Ocean Center convention complex in Daytona Beach. The other half goes to the county’s three tourism advertising authorities to market their respective areas — Daytona Beach/Halifax area, Southeast Volusia, and West Volusia — as a tourist and special event destinations.

As recently reported, “Although convention business lags behind leisure travel as a driver of the rebound of the nation’s tourism industry from the catastrophic 2020 COVID-19 downturn, the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach closed out the year with record numbers in attendee days and hotel room nights”. As tourism officials like to say, meetings and conventions “put heads in beds”.

We, as a collective assembly of industry professionals, would like to request that the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority promote the New Smyrna Beach area as a location for small meetings and conventions by not only investing personnel to the process, but also allocating financial resources.

As area residents can attest, traffic in New Smyrna Beach Friday through Sunday proves that the leisure market knows that New Smyrna Beach is an attractive and affordable place to visit. Many of our lodging properties and restaurants are at full or nearly full capacity these days. However, Sunday afternoon through Thursday, when those leisure travelers are home, our industry is in need of a thoughtful and targeted campaign to the corporate and association industry to fill this downtime. These entities could host meetings, small conferences, board retreats, educational seminars to name a few, and they, too, would find New Smyrna Beach an attractive and affordable place to meet. As we hear time and again from meeting professionals, “they had no idea that they could host a meeting in New Smyrna Beach” and we are a “well-kept secret”.

It is the understanding of this group that collaborations over the years have fallen flat and we would like to see the staff and board align with what our community most needs – Sunday through Thursday business which drives taxes, overnight stays, venue rentals, restaurants, event services, catering, and much more.

Thank you for your timely consideration of this request and we look forward to working with you.

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