What is a CVB?

Destination marketing organizations have many names – convention and visitor bureaus, travel bureaus, visitors' bureaus, welcome centers, tourism bureaus, travel and tourism bureaus, information centers and more. Regardless of the name, these institutions offer many great services to the traveling public and journalists.

A convention and visitor bureau is a “destination marketing” organization. Both in Georgia and nationally, most convention and visitor bureaus are not-for-profit organizations that work independently under the auspices of a board of directors. The fundamental mission of a convention and visitor bureau is the promotion of visitor and business travel, which generates overnight lodging for a destination. They are directly responsible for travel and tourism "product awareness" to visitors. Billions of direct and indirect revenue, and taxes are generated into the state and local economy due to the marketing efforts of Georgia’s convention and visitor bureaus.

How is a Convention and Visitor Bureau Funded?

The primary funding source is usually derived from hotel/motel tax that a hotel guest pays on lodging in the community of the convention and visitor bureau. In some communities, the convention and visitor bureau also offers a membership program to enhance its revenue. Because bureau funding is directly linked to how many hotel rooms there are in a community, budget sizes vary greatly. The underlying mission, however remains the same - destination marketing.

How Does a Convention and Visitor Bureau Work?

A convention and visitor bureau's marketing initiatives typically are achieved through some or all of the following: trade association marketplaces, advertising, distribution of promotional and collateral material, direct sales, hosting familiarization tours and other hospitality functions. The target decision maker of the marketing initiative is not typically a resident in the community. Most often, if the visitor is going to spend the night in a hotel, they are from at least 50 miles away. Therefore, the marketing activity usually takes place or is directed outside the convention and visitor bureau's community.

How can you use a CVB as a resource?

A convention and visitor bureau is designed to market a destination to the traveling public and provide area resources and advice to tourists, event and meeting planners and the media. A CVB is a great resource offering local insights, brochures and events calendars.  When traveling always seek the CVB for the best and unbiased information on the area you plan to visit.  For the local community a CVB can provide trend identification, tourism-related business contacts, industry education, and legislative awareness.