The Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce sent the following letter to our Board of Supervisors asking them to not cut funding to Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau (MCCVB) in the 2019-2020 budget. The majority of the money that goes to MCCVB, that does not go for salaries, goes toward advertising to attract tourists and/or conventions to the area, capitalizing on the selling power of Big Sur.
Big Sur sells itself and, of course, so does Big Little Lies (tongue in cheek here). The expenditure of money for advertising to bring in more tourists, when there is no money for the infrastructure to support increased visitation, is irresponsible and reckless. Given the budget constraints the County of Monterey has, cutting the funding of MCCVB is a wise choice.
MCCVB just spearheaded through the City of Monterey, rather than through the County of Monterey, a Tourist Improvement District (TID) tax last year which resulted in an increased revenue for MCCVB. This TID now comprises 57% of MCCVB’s budget. (I wrote about this last year, see for example: https://bigsurkate.blog/2018/09/12/public-hearing-re-tid-to-fund-mccvb/) Further, I provided a copy of the bureau’s budget for 2018-2019 here: https://Bigsurkate.blog/2018/09/11/tourism-in-moco/ While the TOT collected has been increasing, how can it be determined that this is due to the efforts of MCCVB rather than the popularity of Big Little Lies? Even MCCVB capitalizes on this trend by promoting a “Big Little Moments” Campaign (see: https://www.seemonterey.com/big-little-lies/) which I covered on 5/30/19 here: https://bigsurkate.blog/2019/05/30/tourist-thursday-5-30-19-big-little-moments-campaign/
Consider contacting our Board of Supervisors representative, Mary Adams’s office, and making your voice heard if you have an opinion on this issue. Continuing to push a goal of increased visitation is no longer sustaining nor is it a model to follow. Some things — like the beauty of Big Sur — are more precious than money. Here is the letter in jpg format.
Also, if you are interested, MCCVB and the Monterey Chamber of Commerce asked the City of Monterey to increase its funding to MCCVB at the May 29th meeting. Monterey video tapes all the City Council meetings and has them available here: https://www.monterey.org/City-Hall/The-Monterey-Channel/Council-Meetings-Video-on-Demand 5/29 Council mtg, afternoon session, starting at 1:17:15 (Clyde’s intro to public comments, then the public comments) (Thanks to Mari Lynch of Bicycle Monterey for alerting me to this event.)