Voice of Tourism

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We are less than ten days away from St. Patrick’s Day, where our city will play host to hundreds of thousands of revelers.
 
Whether you join in the celebration or not, you will benefit.
 
Let me explain.
 
LODGING
For all of the people who will be staying overnight, they will be paying a total of 13% tax on their room rate. For instance, on a $250 room rate with a 3-night stay, that’s nearly $100 that goes to our community and state.
 

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‘Tis the season for awards shows. Grammys, Golden Globes, even the Oscars are next week. Hollywood is celebrating everything.
It seems there is an awards program for everyone as well…the Writers Guild, the Producers Guild, save nothing of the Make-up and Hairstylists Guild.
Honoring those who have done exceptional things seems to be in the air.
It’s here in Savannah too.
On Wednesday, the Tourism Leadership Council will celebrate some of the extraordinary people who make up the tourism and hospitality industry.

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As the “Hostess City of the South,” it’s no surprise locals joined the trend and literally opened their homes to some of our city’s guests.
We have seen an influx of rooms, homes, and apartments for rent over the last five years, and I think it’s a great option for Savannah’s visitor to experience this city like a local.
However, when money is exchanged between the homeowner and the visitor, a new business has emerged.
If you are one of the hundreds of people offering a room or home for 30 days or less, let me be the first to welcome you to the tourism industry.

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 “You’re a real renaissance man.” Hear that and you’ve gotten a great compliment. Because when someone refers to you as a polymath, you’re a master of many talents.
When that term was first coined, it meant you were good at languages, music, and poetry. Today, the term might be better suited to include the talents we hold in high esteem.
For example, in the tourism industry, you really have to be good at many things to find success.
I see this all the time.

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This is the time of year everyone gets contemplative about the coming year. Predictions are made. Forecasts are set.
For tourism, we’re hearing that 2014 will be a banner year—growth like we haven’t seen since the recession.
Certainly, tourism rebounded from the recession better than most markets.
However, in my work with tourism businesses in Savannah, I know there are still some struggling to recover from the economic downturn.
Yet, I believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I believe we will see more of that light in 2014.