Destination Cleveland leverages our funding to grow Cuyahoga County’s economy by bringing visitors and their spending money to Cleveland. Because we’re competing fiercely for consumer attention, we use research to inform our strategies, and real-time data lets us seize opportunities.
Visitors spend money on hotels, restaurants, shopping and attractions, which in turn contributes to employment of residents and support of locally owned businesses. Additionally, visitors are immersed in Cleveland’s experiences and return home with insights about and new or changed perceptions of Cleveland as a place to live, work, study or invest.
How is Destination Cleveland funded?
Like nearly every convention and visitors bureau (CVB) and destination marketing and management organization (DMMO) in the country, Destination Cleveland counts on Cuyahoga County’s lodging occupancy tax (or bed tax) for the majority (94%) of its revenue. It’s a funding model that’s standard nationwide.
Who pays bed tax?
Bed tax is paid by people who stay overnight at hotels, bed & breakfasts and shared economy accommodations (think Airbnb) in Cuyahoga County. The vast majority of bed tax is paid by people who live outside of Cuyahoga County.
You may be wondering, "Do I pay bed tax?"
Only if you stay in a hotel, bed & breakfast or shared economy accommodation in Cuyahoga County are you helping to fund Destination Cleveland’s visitor attraction and industry stewardship efforts.
Does Destination Cleveland get all the Cuyahoga County Bed Tax?
Nope. Destination Cleveland receives about 60% of the 6.5% Cuyahoga County hotel occupancy tax to fulfill its mission.
Where does the rest of your revenue come from?
We couldn’t be successful without our more than 600 hospitality partners. They put skin in the game — paying dues, purchasing advertising on our website and in our publications and sponsoring events.
What do you do with all that money?
Destination Cleveland invests our revenue into measurably growing the travel and tourism industry through largely out-of-region marketing and selling Cleveland as a destination city for leisure, convention and business travel experiences. Major program expenses include representing Cleveland at out-of-region events to secure meetings and conventions, changing perceptions of Cleveland through marketing & PR efforts and maintaining visitor experience assets, including wayfinding and brand signage.
Why does Destination Cleveland’s work matter?
Cleveland competes every day for travelers’ attention and money; we’re not the only choice when people are looking for places to visit or host their meeting or convention. Great Midwest cities are chomping at the bit to attract the same travelers. Exciting and authentic experiences are what travelers want, and the competition is intense.
We make sure our funding works overtime to bring even more money than we spend into the community. We’re focused on the community’s equitable economic growth, which we add to by attracting more visitors every year and connecting them to local businesses. By bringing money into our economy, visitors ultimately create demand for more jobs to support the growing travel and tourism industry.