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The State Tourism grant has not been included in FY 21 as the amount of this grant is unknown at this time. $373,225 was received in FY 19 and $373,225 was received in FY 20. 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 increased in FY 20 and is anticipated in FY 21.



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. In FY 20, the Office Associate position was reclassified as a Marketing Coordinator position. This position will be handling marketing for other Town departments. A Business Development Coordinator has been funded beginning in January of FY 21. A step increase effective January 1, 2021 has been funded. The Visitor’s Center is staffed by part-time employees. Operational hours were reviewed and reduced in the FY 21 budget. Allocations for health insurance and pension increase for this division, while the allocations for retiree health and worker’s compensation decrease.



Advertising is the main expense in the department. $5,509,299 has been budgeted for advertising in FY 21. The FY 20 adopted budget for advertising totaled $5,756,667, while an additional $373,225 will be recognized from the State Advertising grant in FY 20. The funding formula outlined in the FY 08 ordinance has been followed for FY 21. 2.0% of the estimated gross room receipts has been budgeted for advertising and sponsorships for FY 21. Sponsorships have been designated in a separate line item and total $470,663 for FY21. An additional $284,038 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 was 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 21. 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 allocations for vehicle lease, IT Services and insurance increase for this division.