Emerging visitor economy to receive a $1.6 million infusion for marketing & promotion

(Oakland, CA) During last nights meeting, the Oakland City Council approved the Oakland Tourism Business Improvement District (OTBID) proposed by the Oakland hotel community. The additional $1.6 million in assessment dollars will be allocated to Visit Oakland, the official destination marketing organization for the city of Oakland, to build on its existing successful plan of work. The three-year district goes into effect August 1, 2015, ensuring strong and sustainable marketing programs for tourism promotion. As part of the TBID agreement, hotel guests will pay a $1.50 assessment per occupied room night. The interest and demand for Oakland as a travel destination has grown so much in just the last few years, says Alison Best, President & CEO of Visit Oakland. The creation of the OTBID comes at a time where Oakland can benefit from increased marketing efforts to promote our city to tourists, meeting planners, and hotel developers alike. The new OTBID funding opens the doors for elevated awareness of Oakland as a fantastic place to live, work and play. A great destination brings visitor spending, and visitor spending fuels the economic engine of the city. Visit Oakland has had a record-breaking year with over 2.6 million visitors in 2014, contributing visitor spending of $1.4 billion to the economy. With the recent positive national spotlight generated by the 2015 NBA Champions Golden State Warriors and the trending food and nightlife scene, Oakland is being heralded as an emerging travel destination. TBIDs were created in 1995 as part of the California Tourism Marketing Act, in which the state authorized a self-imposed assessment by businesses that benefit from travel and tourism. In 2009, the United States government also implemented a similar nationwide assessment, raising $320 million a year through a $10 fee on foreign visitors. Other local destination marketing organizations with established TBIDs include San Francisco, Tri-Valley, Berkeley, San Mateo, Napa Valley, San Jose, Monterey County and Sonoma.

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ABOUT VISIT OAKLAND Visit Oakland is a non-profit organization marketing Oakland, California as a travel destination. Visit Oakland offers a wide variety of complimentary services and materials for travelers interested in visiting Oakland. For more information, see our website at www.visitoakland.org. Want to share the Oakland love with the world? Join the 17,000 people who #OaklandLoveIt on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. CONTACT: Kim Bardakian Director of PR & Community Relations (510) 839-0529 | kim@visitoakland.org Frances Wong PR & Community Relations Manager (510) 208-0561 | frances@visitoakland.org