CVB report: Marketing pays

Every dollar spent on marketing by the Marietta-Washington Convention and Visitors Bureau generates about $41.82 in tourist spending going back into the community, according to a report filed with Marietta City Council’s finance committee Tuesday.

The report does not indicate that CVB marketing was specifically responsible for the tourist visits or spending.

“Day trip visitors spend an average of $139 per party in this area, while overnight visitors spend around $362,” CVB executive director Jeri Knowlton told the committee members.

She said a CVB survey of visitors who live outside the local area indicated 27 percent have visited Marietta and Washington County more than 10 times in the last two years, and 62 percent of visitors surveyed rated their overall experience at 9 or 10 on a scale of 1 to 10.

“And 50 percent of those surveyed had never been to Marietta, but said they planned to come here eventually,” Knowlton said.

The city’s 6 percent hotel/motel tax is split 50/50 with the CVB every year, and represented $339,881 of the bureau’s total annual income of $421,470 during 2012, according to the CVB’s annual financial report to the council committee Tuesday.

Finance committee chairman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, noted the lodging tax receipts were up for the first quarter of 2013.

“Our half of the bed tax is $81,060 so far this year, that’s compared to $58,006 during the same time in 2012,” he said.

All told, the city’s hotel/motel tax receipts through March were $162,120 this year.

“That’s an increase of 39.7 percent over last year,” Vukovic said.

Also during her report Knowlton announced the 2013 dates for the American Queen sternwheeler visits to Marietta have been set as July 29, Aug. 7 and Aug. 11, and The Wilds has been added to the vessel’s premium package options for passengers.

In other business Tuesday, Marietta treasurer Valerie Holley reported that $2.1 million in city income tax had been collected since the beginning of this year, and March posted a record collection of $686,265.

In March 2012 income tax collections totaled $680,087 and the first quarter collection was 1.9 million.