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Plan To Reauthorize San Diego’s Tourism Marketing District Is In The Works

A plan is in the works to reauthorize the city of San Diego's Tourism Marketing District, which collects money from hotels and spends the funds on programs designed to increase the local visitor industry, according to a staff presentation made today to the City Council's Budget Committee.

The TMD, a pilot program set to expire at the end of this calendar year, takes 2 percent of gross room revenues from hotels with 70 or more rooms and redirects the funds to organizations like the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the San Diego Bowl Association.

The district was first formed in 2007 as a five-year pilot program, and it started operations at the beginning of 2008. It will stop collecting funds after Dec. 31 unless it is reauthorized, though its budget plans call for spending what's left over through next March.

The TMD's annual report for fiscal year 2011 claims a 24:1 return on investment from the CVB, which receives half of the funding, and similar ratios from the San Diego Sports Commission and Rock'n'Roll Marathon.

The TMD also supports the San Diego Crew Classic, California State Games, San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, the Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network, Craft Brewers Festival and Bayfair thunderboat races.

"We have to do everything possible to keep this going,'' said Todd Gloria, the committee chairman.

Last September, the council directed city staff to start planning to reauthorize the TMD for 40 years.

A proposal, which could suggest the room threshold to be lowered to 30, could be brought back to the Budget Committee as soon as next month, with final consideration by the full City Council likely this fall.

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