How are we going to ensure the new organization is transparent and accountable?

  1. Open Records and Transparency - with new entity's funding source being primarily from HOT, the new organization will be liable for following all local and state laws pertaining to the Open Records Act. The new entity will be required to be good stewards of tax money and as such mechanisms such as annual audits and reporting of use of the HOT will be incorporated and/or required.
  2. The new CVB 501(c)(6) entity would hold an annual open Board of Directors meeting ( 1) that would coincide with Budget Presentation/Adoption. The CVB would post the public meeting notice on the CVB's website a minimum of three (3) days (or 72 hours) prior to the meeting as well as notifications in published Newsletters sent out prior to the meeting.
  3. Proposed Board of Directors will include two appointments from Mayor / City Council and one appointment from City Manager as well as a City ex-officio position for the City's Director of the Convention and Sports Facilities
  4. The new CVB 501(c)(6) entity would brief Mayor and Council annually on any proposed changes to Bylaws or Articles.
  5. The Management Agreement will outline several scope requirements which will include but is not limited to performance metrics, annual review of the use of HOT, quarterly reporting requirements, annual audits, and briefings to the City through the year. There would be a process outlining requirements for Budget briefings, presentation of annual business plan, and any fundamental changes to the Articles or Bylaws to be brought forward to the City.
  6. The Corporation would formulate a Code of Ethics similarly based on the applicable provisions of the City's Ethics Code.

How Does San Antonio's market share drop if the CVB remains with the city?

  1. There are a number of ways to define market share. Other Texas cities are now outspending San Antonio and aggressively marketing to Texas Leisure travelers. They are accomplishing this through increased budgets and additional marketing dollars. Research shows that for every dollar spent on advertising there is more than a $4 return back in taxes. The proposed new organization would have greater flexibility in raising/increasing budget opportunities that would allow us to better compete with our comp set cities.
  2. Recent statistics show overall San Antonio hotel revenue is losing ground compared to other Texas comp set cities. Overall San Antonio HOT is increasing but not at the pace of other major Texas Cities.
  3. Other primary drivers
    - Better competitive parity
    - Opportunities for budget growth
    - Ability for greater speed to market on marketing initiatives
    - Sustain and grow San Antonio's visitor industry - tourism/hospitality is a key economic driver for San Antonio and this is an opportunity for an innovative organization that lays the foundation for the future of San Antonio's visitor industry

Are there unforeseen consequences from undue influence that the private sector could have on the new bureau?

  1. All of San Antonio's competitor cities as well as the top 50 destinations have a Board of Directors and have portions of their budget supported by private dollars. We do not see any evidence in this being an issue or challenge in these communities.
  2. The CVB understands there are new relationships to manage as a new entity but the core of the CVBs mission is to sell and market the destination. CVBs across the country successfully manage the relationships between the City, multiple partners and their respective Boards.

Can the CVB raise the $10 million to match what is being spent in Dallas?

The $10 million growth is in 3-5 years and is an aspirational goal. The primary driver for Dallas' budget growth has been the implementation of a Tourism Marketing District {TIO). However, there are a number of mechanisms/opportunities available that the CVB would evaluate and potentially pursue.

DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International) identifies some traditional opportunities which the CVB will be exploring:

  1. ‍Advertising
  2. Membership/Partnership
  3. Corporate Sponsorship
  4. Event Hosting

Additional opportunities may exist:

  1. Tourism/Marketing Districts
  2. Other County/City revenue sources/partnerships (examples include working with other local and/or regional municipalities that collect HOT)

Who would be included on the board of the new CVB?

The goal is for a diversified board of 21 members representing various business sectors, community, and visitor industry representatives as well as a mix of public and private representation.

  • Two (2) appointments by the Mayor (self or City Council Members)
  • One (1) appointment by the City Manager (self or designee/Assistant City Manager)
  • Members below would go through a nominating and interview process
    Three (3) representing Hotel & Lodging
    Two (2) representing Leisure Attractions (e.g. Museums/Theme Parks)
    One (1) representing Restaurant / Culinary Industry
    One (1) representing Heritage & Preservation
    One ( 1) representing Arts/Culture/Music
    One (1) representing Transportation industry
    One ( 1) Chamber representative (All Chambers would have opportunity to apply)
    Three (3) At Large positions
  • One (1) CEO/President of Visit San Antonio
  • Ex Officio positions / voting
    Executive Director of Economic Development Foundation
    Director of Convention and Sports Facilities
  • Ex Officio positions / non-voting
    Director of Aviation
    Director/Assistant Director of Military Affairs

Does this transition negatively impact funding for Arts or History & Preservation?

  1. No. The CVB is currently a funding recipient of HOT dollars allocated by the City as a department of the City. As a 501(c)(6) entity, the CVB would continue to be a funding recipient. In accordance with the State of TX statute that governs the use of HOT, the City assigns the maximum of 15% of these dollars to Arts and History & Preservation. There would be no changes to the public policy associated to how the City funds Arts and History & Preservation initiatives as a result of this change or proposed transition.
  2. A secondary positive outcome is that if the 501(c)(6) has success increasing additional marketing dollars, then this would positively impact the HOT collected by the City. The resultant outcome would be more HOT dollars available for funding Arts and History & Preservation.