Why is a Convention & Visitors Bureau valuable to a visitor, business traveler or a meeting planner?
For visitors, CVBs are like a key to the city. Visit Baton Rouge saves business and leisure travelers' time and energy as they are a one-stop shop for local tourism interests and can provide the full range of information about a destination. As an unbiased resource, CVBs can also serve as a liaison or an official point of contact for convention and meeting planners. They assist planners with meeting preparation, including information on the destination's services and facilities, and encourage business travelers and visitors alike to visit historic, cultural and recreational sites, while staying at local hotels.
Why are meetings and tourism important?
Travel and tourism enhance the quality of life for a local community by providing jobs, bringing in tax dollars for the improvement of services and infrastructure, and attracting facilities like restaurants, shops, festivals and cultural and sporting venues that cater to both visitors and locals. In the Baton Rouge area alone, the tourism industry represents a one billion economic impact annually.
How do CVBs make money?
Visit Baton Rouge is the “marketing arm” for the city of Baton Rouge and the CVB does not charge for its services. This organization is funded by a portion of the hotel occupancy tax collected from visitors' hotel room bookings.
What is the Hotel Occupancy Tax?
The hotel occupancy tax is a tax placed on hotel room bookings, therefore paid by visitors to Baton Rouge. This is also known as the bed tax, lodgings tax, or hotel tax.
Similar to the hotel tax you pay when staying overnight in other cities, the Hotel Occupancy Tax was implemented to expand tourism’s impact and generate more revenue for the Greater Baton Rouge Area. It’s a minimal cost to our visitors that has a far-reaching impact on our community.
Baton Rouge’s Hotel Occupancy Tax rate is currently* 14% – well below the national average. The breakdown is as follows:
- State Sales Tax: 5.00%
- Local Sales Tax: 5.00%
- Hotel Occupancy Tax: 4.00% (3.00% for Visit Baton Rouge; 1.00% for Raising Cane’s River Center) *
* With the proposed 2.00% Hotel Occupancy Tax Increase, 6.00% would then be dedicated (4.00% for Visit Baton Rouge; 2.00% for Raising Cane’s River Center)
“Promoting and Marketing the Baton Rouge area is what we do. Whether a visitor is attending a meeting, convention or attending an event, the combined effort of visitors traveling to Louisiana’s capital city for business or leisure is a win-win for all of us.”
- Paul Arrigo, President and CEO of Visit Baton Rouge.
“In return, the Baton Rouge area receives the economic impact generated at the expense of the visitors, an economic impact that benefits the parish, businesses and residents.”
To learn more about what Visit Baton Rouge goes for leisure travel and tourism, click here.
To learn more about what Visit Baton Rouge does for business travel and tourism, click here.