The city and Visit Newport Beach have announced they are considering extending their partnership that was created to attract tourists to Newport Beach and market the city's brand.
Under the proposed contract amendment, the city and the marketing organization's partnership would be extended two years.
“Visit Newport Beach is professional and skilled at what it does—their success over the last few years, during challenging economic times, proves that,” said Newport Beach Mayor Mike Henn.
Gary Sherwin, executive director of Visit Newport Beach, said the organization's current contract expires in 2014. If the extension is granted, it would take the partnership into 2016.
"Visit Newport Beach Inc. has always been about the private-sector hospitality community working together with the city in the public sector to develop our tourism industry, which is one of the most significant revenue generators for the city of Newport Beach," Sherwin explained.
The city provides Visit Newport Beach with $2.8 million a year from transient occupancy taxes (TOT)—hotel bed taxes—which is about 18 percent of the total amount collected by the city from the 10 percent TOT tax rate, according to the city.
Visit Newport Beach works to promote the city as a top location for meetings, events and conferences. Its sales team targets decision makers to generate hotel room nights, delegate spending and other meetings revenue. The organization manages the brand of Newport Beach, develops seasonal advertising campaigns, creates the annual Visitors Guide and Map of Newport Beach, manages the visitnewportbeach.com website and mobile apps and promotes the city through social media efforts.
According to Sherwin, tourism generates $1 billion in direct spending throughout the city and employs more than 10,000 people. The proposed contract terms stem from the recent completion of a regular compliance-review process. In addition to extending the contract's length, the amendment includes:
- Clarifying what reports and documents should be submitted to the city, including Visit N.B.’s annual marketing plan, budget and annual audit.
- Adding a representative appointed by the city to the Visit N.B. executive board.
- Suggesting that Visit N.B.’s governing board adopt more formal policies on requests for proposals and other internal system improvements.
“The city has ramped up our compliance review of many recipients of city resources. This is not an easy process for any firm to go through," City Manager Dave Kiff said. "I appreciated Visit Newport Beach’s responses to the review’s suggestions and note that we found Visit Newport Beach to be in full compliance with the current agreement."
The proposed amendments will be presented to the Visit N.B. board and the City Council in September.