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What is a Convention & Visitors Bureau?

CVBs are the most common type of destination marketing organizations (DMOs). They market places for visitor-related economic development, e.g., pleasure, personal, and business visitation, meetings and conventions, group tours, movie productions, and sports events. The first CVB was organized more than 100 years ago in Detroit; there are now more than 1,200 across the world. The Durham CVB was organized in 1989 and was reconstituted as a local tourism development authority in 2002.

Is DCVB part of the Chamber of Commerce?

No, but CVBs in very small towns commonly begin as a part of the local chamber. As communities grow, there is usually a division of effort. Typically, CVBs are community organizations, while chambers are private, membership organizations. In Durham, both organizations market Durham as a place. DCVB handles visitors, meetings, group tours, movie productions, and sports events. The chamber handles new move-ins and relocating or expanding businesses. The Durham Chamber was instrumental in the founding of DCVB.

How is DCVB funded?

Visitors pay a special 6% room occupancy and tourism development tax when they stay in a Durham hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast, and approximately 33% of this tax is reinvested in DCVB to attract and serve more visitors to Durham. In addition, visitors pay taxes on gasoline, retail sales, food service, car rentals, and air travel. These tax revenues provide visitor services and facilities and also go into the general funds of local and state government. Occupancy taxes are typically the way the visitor sector of the economy provides for destination marketing.

Is DCVB a government agency?

DCVB is the business end of the Durham Tourism Development Authority. The authority was chartered by the General Assembly as part of legislation enabling Durham to collect its room occupancy and tourism development tax. The City Council and Board of County Commissioners appoint authority members via an interlocal cooperation agreement as required by the legislation. Prior to becoming a tourism development authority, DCVB was originally chartered by the City and County of Durham from 1989 to 2002 via interlocal agreement and as a provision for first receiving authority to collect the room occupancy and tourism development tax in 1986.

Does DCVB have memberships?

No. It could one day, but currently DCVB and visitor-sector businesses have decided that the best way for the private sector to participate is through sponsorship of DCVB publications and other cooperative marketing projects.

How are DCVB Tourism Development Authority (TDA) members appointed?

Half are appointed by the Durham City Council and half by the Durham Board of County Commissioners. TDA members represent residents at large, neighborhoods, lodging properties, restaurants, retail stores, features and entertainment organizations, organizations that drive visitor demand, and transportation companies. Openings and applications are advertised. Durham residency is required.

When does the DCVB TDA meet?

The TDA meets at 3 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month except December. Contact Shelly Green, President & CEO 10 days in advance for agenda consideration.

How many visitors centers are there in Durham?

Only one. The Durham Visitor Information Center at 212 W Main St #101 is the official Durham facility. Official Durham Visitor Guides and Visitor Map & Overviews are available here and also are distributed biweekly to more than 125 outlets throughout the community, including the lobbies of lodging properties and major corporations.

What are the sports and film offices?

Typically these events are attracted as part of visitor-related economic development. Thus, DCVB is the office for attracting film productions and major sports events to Durham.

Where can a community go for help in establishing a CVB?

Resources include the Destination Marketing Association International (formerly IACVB), the Destination Marketing Association of North Carolina, and books like Destination Marketing for Convention and Visitor Bureaus by Richard B. Gartrell, Tourism USA by Glenn Weaver of the University of Missouri-Columbia's Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, and Marketing Places by Philip Kotler.


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Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau
212 W Main St #101
Durham, NC 27701 USA
Phone: (919) 687-0288
Toll Free: (800) 446-8604