08/02/05 — Chamber offers to take over Travel and Tourism

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Chamber offers to take over Travel and Tourism

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on August 2, 2005 1:58 PM

The Chamber of Commerce of Wayne County is offering to manage travel and tourism promotion for the city of Goldsboro.

Chamber officials are proposing a contract with the city that would put management of the city's Travel and Tourism Advisory Council under chamber auspices.

Chamber President Steve Hicks told City Council members Monday that many municipalities in the state contract with local chambers to provide travel and tourism programs and promotions.

Both the city and the chamber would benefit by the arrangement, Hicks said, since their goals are the same.

The chamber would increase its staff by two in order to handle the additional responsibilities, he said.

The chamber would be held accountable to the council for its actions and the way it spends money, Hicks said.

City Manager Joe Huffman favored the proposal, saying it would created a partnership that would benefit all concerned.

"I think this is probably the best move we could make," Huffman said.

The contract would contain language that would allow either party to break off the deal if it didn't work as well as hoped, Huffman said.

Hicks said money allocated by the city to the travel and tourism council would be maintained separately from the chamber's funds. The chamber would bill the city for its expenses and the appropriation would have to be approved by the council. That would allow the council to have even more control over spending for promotions than it has now, said Huffman.

The proposed contract would be for one year, with an option to renew it annually. The chamber president would become the director of the travel and tourism council.

Hicks said county government officials told him they were in favor of the plan because it would create more of a team atmosphere among the groups trying to promote Goldsboro and Wayne County to visitors.

The chamber's volunteers would be provide a source of extra manpower to broaden the scope of current efforts to bring more tourism to the city and county, Hicks said.