$166K in ATAX grants go to tourism groups

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From staff reports

At its Sept. 22 meeting, Beaufort City Council voted to accept the FY 2021 ATAX grant recommendations from the Tourism Development Advisory Committee (TDAC).

The grants are generated by the State Accommodations Tax (ATAX) revenue, and state law governs the distribution and use of the monies. A certain amount of these revenues is allocated for the grant process to non-profit groups focused on the promotion, marketing, and advertising of tourism.

TDAC meets once a year to review, discuss and score applicant presentations for these grants.

This year, $166,724 was budgeted for grants. TDAC committee members noted that a total of $257,250 was requested by nine organizations.

The Greater Beaufort-Port Royal Convention & Visitors Bureau requested $140,000 for destination marketing, and TDAC recommended that they receive the full amount, as the Beaufort-Port Royal Designated Marketing Organization (DMO). “The hotel market is down 29% and $7 million this year because of Covid-19,” TDAC Chairman Vimal Desai said. He commended the CVB for “demonstrated results in marketing strategy.”

The other grantees and amounts:

Lowcountry & Resort Islands Tourism Commission – $11,524

Port Royal Sound Foundation – $3,700

Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce – $3,500

Beaufort Art Association – $3,000

Beaufort Area Hospitality Association – $2,500

Beaufort Film Society – $1,500

Penn Center – $1,000

TDAC did not recommend funding a request from Friends of the Spanish Moss Trail.