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The State Tourism grant has not been included in FY 19 as the amount of this grant is uncertain. $460,560 was received in FY 17 and $575,677 is anticipated in FY 18. 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 19.



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, 2019 has been funded. The Visitor’s Center is staffed by part-time employees. A part-time Office Associate position was added in FY 15 and has been funded at a cost of $18,186. Allocations for retiree health and pension decrease for this division.



Advertising is the main expense in the department. $6,177,000 has been budgeted for advertising in FY 19. The FY 18 adopted budget for advertising totaled $6,140,722, while an additional $575,677 will be recognized from the State Advertising grant in FY 18. The funding formula outlined in the FY 08 ordinance has been followed for FY 19. 2.0% of the estimated gross room receipts has been budgeted for advertising for FY 19. Sponsorship of TEAM Productions free events has been included in the advertising line item as a sponsorship, while 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 it has been funded at $300,000 for eight 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 19. The Visitor’s Guide postage and handling fees remain at $20,000. TEAM Maryland dues increased from $5,500 to $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.