Alabama’s first Tourism Improvement District goes into effect from today

Alabama tourism

The Mobile City Council on Tuesday approved the creation of the much awaited Mobile Tourism Improvement District (MTID) – the first in Alabama. Mobile is a port city on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

Visit Mobile, the city’s convention and visitors’ bureau, will implement MTID’s marketing initiatives. The city said it will increase its allocation to Visit Mobile for marketing purposes. The initiative will kick-off from today.

“The Tourism Improvement District creates a significant platform to position Mobile as a top tourist destination,” said David Clark, Visit Mobile president and CEO. “Congratulations to our lodging partners for seven years of hard work and tremendous leadership to bring the MTID to fruition.”

Over 165 TIDs have been formed since the introduction of the programme in 1989. New Orleans and Kenner, Louisiana, Savannah, Georgia, Memphis, Tennessee, and Tampa, Florida, have or are pursuing a TID.

According to the city’s 2020 general fund and capital improvement fund budgets, an estimated $1.5 million will be available each year for next five years for the funding of targeted marketing and sales promotion efforts. The money will be raised from an additional $1 charge per night spent at hotels within the district that have 40 or more rooms.

The district provides specific benefits to more than 65 lodging properties by funding targeted marketing and sales promotions to generate hotel room stays.

“The Tourism Improvement District is a game changer and is a terrific example of what coming together collectively can do to raise the bar in elevating lodging and tourism in our great city,” said Kent Blackinton, president of the Mobile Area Lodging Association (MALA). “Our lodging partners are united and are ready to be innovative to produce positive results. All stakeholders win.”

The MTID is designed to provide benefits directly to the hotels through targeted digital, print, broadcast, internet and mobile advertising and marketing, as well as convention sales. Visitor interaction programmes and capital improvement projects aimed at tourists are in the plans.

The Mobile Area Lodging Corporation (MALC) is made up of six hoteliers from each geographic part of the city, as well as the MALA president, one attractions representative, one restaurant representative and two non voting members from the city of Mobile and Visit Mobile. MALC will oversee the use of MTID funds. Visit Mobile will develop and implement the plans under MALC’s supervision.