Meetings & Conventions: Newsline
CVBS CUT STAFF, REVISE MARKETING
PLANSBureaus Face Budget Woes
The drop in tourism has led many convention and
visitor bureaus to rethink their 2002 budgets and revise marketing
"A lot of bureaus will be looking at less revenue from hotel
taxes next year," said Dan Fenton, president and CEO of the San
Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau. While changes will have to be
made, he said, "We don't plan on laying anyone off."
The Greater Miami CVB cut its budget by 20 percent. All
employees took a 5 percent salary cut, and no merit increases or
performance bonuses will be given out this year, said William
Talbert, president and CEO. "We're trying to recognize the reality
of what's happening in the marketplace," he said. "I thought it was
prudent to make the adjustment now."
"We're still going to have a presence at all the shows we
usually go to," added Ita Moriarty, Miami's senior vice president
of convention sales, "but instead of sending three people, we'll
send one. Instead of having a large booth, we'll have a smaller
Bureau travails have not gone unnoticed by planners. Theresa
Garza, CMP, managing director of Tucson, Ariz.-based Amigo Meeting
Solutions, noticed spotty service at one CVB while placing a
meeting with 650 room nights for June 2003. The bureau rep "didn't
work very hard for this booking," said Garza. "I know they have had
cutbacks; maybe that's why I'm having problems."
Others have reallocated ad dollars, with some cutting back but
others stepping up their efforts. The Greater Phoenix CVB just
launched a campaign first slated for spring 2002.
In Salt Lake City, marketing efforts are easier, said the CVB's
president and CEO, Diane Binger. The upcoming Winter Olympics serve
as a ready-made ad campaign for the city.
• SARAH J.F. BRALEY
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