Tourism Development Authority
The Tourism Development Authority by law must work to advance tourism in Jacksonville. Their work is to promote overnight stays in Jacksonville lodging facilities. There are six members of the Authority. Two directors are members of the Jacksonville City Council, and two directors are directly affiliated with facilities that collect occupancy tax in the City. Two are at-large members. Four must, and are, affiliated with tourism promotion.
The Authority has adopted a strategy of expanding the stays of those who come to our area, attracting new visitors to explore our memorials and outdoor activities, and to develop new and expand current methods for new travel. One significant area of growth is in sports with the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission funded in part by the Authority. The Commission seeks to expand and continuously evaluate the offerings to help accomplish this mission.
The Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority mission is to administer the proceeds of the occupancy tax in accordance to state law and to promote or sponsor tourist-related or business-related travel events and activities in the City and area, and finance tourist-related capital projects in the City.
Building Travel & Tourism for Jacksonville
The Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority was formed in 2010 to provide a resource to help expand travel and tourism for Jacksonville. On August 6, 2009, the NC General Assembly authorized an occupancy tax to be collected from lodging facilities. The law which authorized the tax had requirements on how it was to be spent. It basically required that two-thirds be spent on tourism promotion and allowed one-third to be spent on capital projects.
In 2017, the legislature allowed a “flip” which switched the formula. Effective July 1, 2017, two-thirds must be spent on capital projects (tourism related expenses) and one-third must be spent on Tourism Promotion.
The Authority works closely with the Jacksonville • Onslow Chamber of Commerce which operates tourism promotion for the Onslow County Board of Commissioners. Partnerships such as the Military Reunion and Familiarization Tours for journalists, bloggers and others are part of the partnership.
Capital Project Funds
The City has used the capital projects to help fund the completion of the pledges to the Museum of the Marine and the Vietnam Memorial. The Freedom Fountain, Montford Point Marine Memorial, Corpsman Memorial, Heroes Visitor Center and Sturgeon City Environmental Education Center have also been funded in part from the proceeds.