Tourism has positive effect on individual taxes
William White | OA News
Individuals, groups and businesses have a role to play in the Auburn and Opelika Tourism Bureau’s new “I Am Tourism” campaign.
“One of our challenges as the Auburn and Opelika Tourism Bureau is for the local community to understand who we are what we do and, most importantly, the impact that tourism has,” said Robyn L. Bridges, the Auburn and Opelika Tourism Bureau public relations and communications director.
The tourism bureau received a $10,000 grant from the Alabama Tourism Department to fund the campaign, which has been pro-rated to $6,950 with another $2,000 still to come.
Bridges said the local campaign plans to use restaurateurs, downtown merchants, recreation leaders, hoteliers, golf pros, event planners, sporting event managers and university representatives to appear in commercials on billboards, radio, video and in print.
An example is on the digital billboard as you leave Auburn and enter Opelika at Frederick Road. The ad reads: “I’m Travis Debardeleben, director of Yarbrough Tennis Center, and I Am Tourism.”
Bridges said the campaign will try to show all of the variety of partners and involved parties that make up the tourism collective.
She said breaking the numbers down helps people understand the dollars tourists bring into the local economy means less money that they have to pay out of their pockets in taxes.
“While the 2011 numbers are not available yet, the 2010 numbers show us at $226 million for total visitor spending here in Lee County,” she said. “If every family had to replace those tax dollars, there would be an additional $300 tax burden on each family in Lee County.”
Bridges said daily worker paychecks in the local hospitality industry total $268,000, and tourism brings in more than $9 billion annually across the state.
“The industry considers this as clean money,” she said. “People come, they leave the money and go.”