Dallas hotels agree to new tax
A proposed 2 percent tourism tax increase on Dallas area hotels with more than 100 rooms has been endorsed by a city council committee and will go through public hearings and full city council votes throughout the coming weeks. Phillip Jones, president of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, says 70 percent of the area hotels are on board with the tax, which would bring the total sales tax for guests at the city’s large hotels to 15 percent.
The city currently spends $5 million on conventions and tourism. Officials at the Dallas CVB say that doesn’t compare to San Antonio, which spends more than twice that amount, and other cities around the country. Las Vegas spends about $95 million per year on tourism marketing, which leads cities around the country. The 2 percent tax increase in Dallas would raise about $10 million each year for the CVB to use on additional tourism promotion.
The CVB aims to return the city to the top five in conventions and tourism. Jones says the city now ranks seventh in conventions and 11th in leisure travel. “We have a great message,” Jones says. “We have $15 billion in new development across the city of Dallas, new arts venues, new sports venues, new cultural activities, new shopping venues, great restaurants, great hotels. And we need to get that message out because a lot of people who have not been to Dallas in recent years are in for a very pleasant surprise.”