If passed, the Laurel Tourism Promotion Tax will add a 3% tax on hotel, motel, & short term rental bills.
The average nightly rate of a hotel is $82.00. That means that this tax would only increase a nightly stay by $2.46.
Laurel has seen a huge increase in visitors and tourists in recent years. Tourism efforts have previously been funded by local tax dollars. This tax will allow us to fund new tourism promotion efforts with tax dollars collected from visitors.
Tourism is a major contributing factor to the successful retail and restaurant growth. It is time for us to put sustainable measures in place to accommodate this new industry. The Laurel Welcome Center will be housed in a remodeled unit from the first Housing Authority Development. In addition to being a first stop for travelers, the building will have a recreation of one of the original Housing Authority units. It will also have photos and informational panels sharing Laurel history and stories of significant African American community members raised in the Housing Authority. To learn more about the Laurel Welcome Center, please read the press release HERE.
By providing a warm and informational welcome, we are increasing the likelihood of tourists enjoying their visit in Laurel. Happy tourists = good word of mouth recommendations and return visitors!
Previously, Visit Laurel-Jones County used CARES Act funds to run digital ads in other markets. Digital ads have proven to be very effective. This tax would allow us to have a sustainable source of funding to pursue more frequent digital ad campaigns. Laurel is seen by a national audience of nearly 30 million viewers every year; we need to invest in ways to convert viewers to visitors on a national level.
Welcome Center Operations & Staffing
Welcome Center Displays, & Furnishings
Sponsorships for events that draw tourism (Example: Oak Park Reunion, Downtown Events)
Curious what the ballot will look like? You can view a sample ballot Here.