The application period to apply Tourist tax to agree money is now open with the county planning department.
Interested groups or organizations have until October 1, 2022 to apply.
The application link can be found at: https://bit.ly/CHQTourismGrants2023. Hard copies of the application are also available at the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development offices located at 201 West Third Street, Suite 115, Jamestown, NY, during regular business hours.
The Tourism Product Development Grant Program is funded by the county’s 5% occupancy or “bed tax” for renting accommodation units in the county. Three-fifths (3%) of the revenue generated by this tax is used to increase tourism, conventions, trade shows, special events, and other directly related or supporting activities, including county businesses. The two-fifths (2%) occupancy tax is used solely for the improvement and protection of lakes and streams in Chautauqua County. A portion of the 3% occupancy tax is intended to provide grants for projects that will materialize and/or support special tourism product and event development initiatives.
After tourism declined in 2020 due to pandemic-related restrictions, 2021 occupancy tax revenue exceeded expectations by nearly 40%, with revenue exceeding budget by more than $500,000. Revenue exceeded 2019, pre-pandemic levels by 5.4%.
According to recent studies on the travel industry, besides ecotourism, wellness activities or wellness-oriented trips were a priority. Wellness can be immersive cultural experiences, mental, physical, or spiritual growth, such as lifelong learning opportunities, family and friend reunions, and restorative experiences.
Applicants for funding must have programs and initiatives that help raise awareness of Chautauqua County as a place to visit and/or improve the likelihood of repeat visits to the area. A key concern for the future of Chautauqua County’s tourism industry is to create and promote products and experiences that will attract more visitors, especially for overnight visits and during the pre- and post-season. summer.
Grant funds are not intended for facility maintenance or long-term operational costs.
Applications for the 3% Tourism Product Development Grant Program may be submitted by a variety of groups and organizations including: non-profit organizations, governments, businesses/corporations, public or private schools, and all landowners of Chautauqua County.
For more information, please contact Nate Aldrich at (716) 363-3672 or [email protected]