Masters Thesis

A Study to determine if the city of Bakersfield would benefit from a tourism business improvement district-TBID funded convention and visitors bureau

Tourism is a significant, sometimes vital part of a destination’s economy. Tourist spending supports jobs and helps cities thrive. For many years destination marketing and tourism promotion by Convention and Visitors Bureaus has been funded primarily through the collection of Transient Occupancy Tax. In recent years, the wavering economics of California has forced cities to explore different ways to fund Convention and Visitors Bureaus. Tourism Business Improvement Districts have become a key method of providing stable funding for destination marketing and promotion. The Bakersfield Convention and Visitors Bureau’s budget is currently funded by TOT, allocated by the city, and is not guaranteed. Fresno and Stockton are two of Bakersfield largest competitors. The cities of Fresno and Stockton have had success enacting TBIDs in recent years. This paper will look closely at the data from Fresno and Stockton to see if Bakersfield should consider implementing a TBID as the funding source for the Bakersfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. The purpose of this study is to identify the characteristics of Fresno and Stockton’s TBIDs to better understand the district formation process, and to understand the challenges and opportunities in forming a TBID. This data may serve as a general frame to determine what lessons these cities can offer Bakersfield and other cities considering a TBID funded CVB. TBID’s for Fresno and Stockton are providing a stable funding source for the cities CVBs free from political circumstances. A TBID funded budget gives relief to local government by providing a funding source that does not come from city collected taxes or general fund revenues. Bakersfield’s hotel revenue assessed for a TBID indicates that the Bakersfield CVB would have an average budget of $1.4 million. Stable funding of this amount would allow the Bakersfield CVB to market its destination and provides more exposure to its target audience. This would increase local events, meetings and tourism, leading to increased occupancy, TOT and sales taxes. This increase provides an overall better economic situation for the Bakersfield CVB, the City of Bakersfield and its residents.


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