Travel and tourism enhance the quality of life for a local community by providing jobs, bringing in tax dollars for improvement of services and infrastructure, and attracting facilities like restaurants, shops, festivals, and cultural and sporting venues that cater to both visitors and locals.
According to U.S. Travel Association, travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest service exports and largest employers. In the United States in 2009, travel and tourism directly generated more than 7.4 million jobs with $186.3 billion in payroll income for Americans, as well as $113 billion tax revenue for federal, state and local governments.
The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) is a not-for-profit membership organization that works to develop our communities through travel and tourism. We are a source of information for visitors, meeting planners, and tour operators. Our CVB is funded through a combination of hotel occupancy taxes and membership dues.
How does the CVB help meeting planners and tour operators?
The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitor Bureau make planning and implementing a meeting less time-consuming and more streamlined. We can provide meeting planners access to a range of services, packages and value-added extras. Before a meeting begins, our staff can help locate meeting space, check hotel availability, and arrange for site inspections. We can also link planners with the suppliers, from motor coach companies and caterers to off-site entertainment venues, that can help meet the prerequisites of any event. No matter the size of the meeting being organized, from 50 to 50,000, all planners are encouraged to use a bureau’s services. In fact, some larger bureaus even have staff members dedicated to small meetings.
Among the advantages of going through a CVB to plan a meeting:
- CVB’s can assist planners in all areas of meeting preparation and provide planners with detailed reference material.
- CVB’s can establish room blocks at local hotels.
- CVB’s will market the destination to attendees via promotional material, thereby encouraging attendance.
- CVB’s can act as a liaison between the planner and community officials, thus clearing the way for special permits, street closures, et cetera.
- CVB’s can obtain special letters of welcome from high-ranking government officials and in some cases, can bring officials to speak at a meeting.
- CVB’s can offer suggestions about ways meeting attendees can maximize free time, along with helping to develop spouse programs and pre- and post-convention tours.
- They can assist in the creation of collateral material.
- They can assist with on-site logistics and registration.
- They can develop pre- and post-conference activities, spouse tours, and special events.
- They can assist with site inspections and familiarization tours, as well as site selection.
- They can provide speakers and local educational opportunities.
- They can help secure special venues.
- They can assist in the coordination of local transportation.