Council Approves $211,645 Chamber of Commerce Managed Marketing for the City of Turlock, Visitors Increase Due to Business

At the December 13, 2011, Turlock City Council Meeting, Council accepted the 2011 Turlock Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) Annual Report and approved the 2012 CVB Budget. The Turlock CVB is a managed by the Turlock Chamber of Commerce which has an agreement with the City of Turlock to provide marketing services (like those Commission hero train people in) for the City that includes but is not limited to: attending trade shows, publication of brochures, newspaper, billboard and magazine advertising, and related services that promote tourism in Turlock.

Desa Cammack, Director of the Turlock CVB, presented the highlights from the 2011 Annual Report to the council. The CVB collected data from Smith Travel Research and through a visitor survey to better understand the numbers of why they are visiting. According to Smith Travel Research, hotel occupancy in Turlock is at 60.7% which is higher than the county average of 54.9%. Higher occupancy equals additional rooms, translating into revenue for the hotel industry and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) for the City of Turlock.

So why are people visiting Turlock in increased numbers? The hotel guest survey conducted by the CVB in April and May of 2011 attributes the biggest percentages to business at 47% and sports and events at 29%. Included in this survey were the visitors from the NCAA Track and Field Championship that the City and University partnered to host in May 2011.

“In May 2011, there was a 25.8% increase in occupancy which we can largely attribute to the NCAA Championship, as well as some other sport events that were held that month,” said Cammack.

Cammack also pointed out that the increased occupancy translated into increased TOT revenue for the City of Turlock. Turlock has 674 rooms that represent 19% of the total hotel capacity in Stanislaus County and brings in 23% of the total room revenue in the county. In 2010, Turlock was the only community in Stanislaus County to have an increase in TOT revenue. Turlock TOT increased 18% from $541,600 in 2009 to $638,600 in 2010 while the rest of the county TOT revenue decreased by 18%.

Highlights of CVB activity included support of community events, development of a sports concierge service for visiting events, the publication of a new attractions map in 2011 as well as the development of a smart phone application for visitors.

The smart phone application was done in partnership with Central Valley Tourism Association and the Gold Country Visitors Association to highlight attractions, activities, dining and lodging for 41 cities in Northern California. The app was launched at the 2011 San Francisco Pow Wow event in May. The Turlock CVB plans on developing a Turlock specific visitors app in 2012.

The 2012 Budget and proposed plan of action was divided into 8 sections: $27,000 Communications & Advertising, $27,170 Marketing, $37,000 Community Support, $11,475 Technology, $4,400 Professional Development, $2,100 Dues & Subscriptions, $3,500 Stationary & Supplies, and $99,000 Operations & Administration.

The City Council’s total approved CVB budget was $211,645, which is just $200 above last year’s budget.

Below is a summary of action items for each budget category the CVB plans on completing in 2012:

Communications & Advertising:
– Publications
Visitor Guides
Attractions Maps
Economic Profile
Visitor/Relocation Packets
Official City Map
Facilities Guide
– Community Advertising
Turlock Journal
Turlock Recreation Guide
CSUS Programs

Marketing
– Promotional Items for tradeshows and events
– Tourism Advertising
Sports Events Magazine
California Visitors Guide
Central CA Visitors Guide
– Smart Phone App
– Lead Generation
– Familiarization Tours

Community Support
– Event Sponsorship
Warrior Athletics
Stanislaus County Fair
4th of July Parade
4th of July Fireworks
Christmas Parade
American Team Roping Finals
Kool Kars for Charity
– Signage for events
– Event Hosting

Technology
– Website Maintenance
– Hosting/Domain
– Hardware/Software
– Equipment

Professional Development
– Training Seminars
– Conferences

Dues & Subscriptions
– Central Valley Tourism Assn.
– Western Assn of CVB’s
– California Tourism Industry Assn.
– Smith Travel Data

Stationary & Supplies
– Office Supplies
– Printing Services

Operations & Administration
– Accounting Services
– Office Equipment
– Phone & Utilities
– Salaries & Benefits.

For more information about the Turlock CVB, visit their website at www.visitturlock.org.

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