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The State Tourism grant has not been included in FY 20 as the amount of this grant is unknown at this time. $498,977 was received in FY 18 and $373,225 is anticipated in FY 19. A portion of Room Tax has been dedicated to funding the Town’s advertising budget, Tourism Advisory Board sponsored private events, and funding for City support of Town sponsored and private events. The County Tourism grant was restored in FY 14 and is anticipated in FY 20.



Since FY 10, there have been two full-time employees in this division, the Tourism Director and an Office Associate. Prior to FY 10, five full-time employees were funded. A step increase effective January 1, 2020 has been funded. The Visitor’s Center is staffed by part-time employees. A part-time Office Associate position was added in FY 15. This position was eliminated in FY 20, while the hours have been increased for the Visitor’s Center staff. Overall, part-time salaries decrease $4,699. Allocations for retiree health and pension increase for this division, while the allocations for group insurance and worker’s compensation decrease.



Advertising is the main expense in the department. $5,756,667 has been budgeted for advertising in FY 20. The FY 19 adopted budget for advertising totaled $5,700,331, while an additional $373,225 will be recognized from the State Advertising grant in FY 19. The funding formula outlined in the FY 08 ordinance has been followed for FY 20. 2.0% of the estimated gross room receipts has been budgeted for advertising and sponsorships for FY 20. Sponsorships have been designated in a separate line item and total $497,111 for FY20, an increase of $20,442 from the amount budgeted in FY 19. An additional $300,000 in Tourism Advisory Board event funding has also been included. Tourism Advisory Board, “TAB” is also funded by the Room Tax formula and funds Council approved special events and promotions. FY 12 was the first year for the allocation, and ithas been funded at $300,000 for nine consecutive fiscal years. The White Marlin Catch and Release sponsorship for the first white marlin of the season is now funded through this budget. Expenses in Contracted Services include marketing research, a postage and handling fee for the Visitor’s Guide and the travel and exhibit space for bus tour travel and trade shows. Marketing research and Smith travel research have been included at a combined cost of $16,000 in FY 20. The Visitor’s Guide postage and handling fees remain at $20,000.TEAM Maryland dues are budgeted at $8,000. Office supplies and promotional giveaways are funded in the Supplies and Materials line item. The allocation for vehicle lease increases, while the allocations for IT Services and insurance decrease.