Tourism Promotion Program

What is the Tourism Promotion Program?line

The City of Redmond established the Tourism Promotion Program to support tourism development and promotion projects in the city. Funding for this program comes from a one percent (1%) lodging tax. A portion of these funds provides matching grants to organizations or groups that promote tourism in the community. State law defines promoting tourism as:
"activities, operations, and expenditures designed to increase tourism, including but not limited to advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists; developing strategies to expand tourism; operating tourism promotion agencies; and funding the marketing of or the operation of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists."  

Who May Apply?
line

The program accepts applications from any public or private organization with the demonstrated ability to accomplish the proposed project(s). These include cultural, historical, heritage, educational, community, sports, and entertainment organizations, museums, galleries, chambers of commerce, and visitor information bureaus. Eligibility of sponsors and projects is defined broadly to encourage wide participation and innovative proposals.

Guidelines for application are: Minimum award is $1,000; no award of funds will exceed 50% of the cost of the event/activity; the award will be contingent upon the applicant's demonstration of other funding sources; and expenditures are subject to audit.

Application, Selection, and Contract Process:  The 2015 tourism grant application process is open from October 1 through October 31 at 5:00 p.m.  Council approvals of LTAC recommendations - January 2015. 
  1. Organizations seeking funding under this program must submit a Tourism Program Grant Application.
  2. (Note: The application packet is in Adobe Acrobat format. You will need to have the free Acrobat Reader in order to complete this electronic form. This application may be submitted electronically by filling in the blanks, saving the application to a file, and attaching the completed file to an email. Send the email to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee c/o knolz@redmond.gov with the subject line: "Tourism Program Grant Application.").  Applicants may be contacted for clarification or additional information. Applications that are not complete or are not eligible for funding will be disqualified and returned.
  3. Qualifying applications will be evaluated on a competitive basis using the official Tourism Promotion Program funding criteria and guidelines. Funding recommendations will be forwarded to the Mayor and Council.
  4. The City Council will make the final decisions on project approval and funding levels.
  5. A Memorandum of Understanding will be sent to successful applicants, along with a Project Summary Report form.
  6. When the project is completed, applicants will complete and return the Project Summary Report with a final invoice and supporting expense documentation as soon as possible after the event and by no later than December 1 of the year the event took place. 

Program Requirements
line

Project applications must describe:

Eligibility
Each applicant will define the service to be provided or the project to be implemented. The project must comply with state statutes and City ordinances governing the use of Tourism Promotion Program funds. The applicant must also indicate how any monies received will result in increases in the number of people traveling for business or pleasure on a trip, how it will carry out the project, and how it will account for the expenditure of program funds.

Scope of Work
The applicant will submit a scope of work that describes the project in detail.

Time Line
The scope of work will include a schedule indicating the timing of the overall project and its major steps or tasks.

Project Evaluation Criteria
The applicant will explain how the project meets the criteria developed by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee and adopted by the Redmond City Council.

Project Budget
The project budget will include a description of the items needed to complete the project, the amount of City funds requested, the applicant’s other revenue sources for this project, and the total cost of the project.

Memorandum of Understanding
Each applicant selected for funding will be required to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Redmond.  The Memorandum of Understanding will cover project goals, definition of eligible costs, specification of payment procedures, limits of City liability, and legal requirements.

Reporting - Project Summary Report
As a contractual condition, each funded project applicant must submit a final report and invoice with backup receipts at the end of the project, and may be required to submit periodic progress reports during the course of the project.

The Project Summary Report requires that the grantee report the actual number of people traveling for business or pleasure on a trip:
(a) away from their place of residence or business and staying overnight in paid accommodations; (b) to a place fifty miles or more one way from their place of residence or business for the day or staying overnight; or (c) from another country or state outside of their place of residence or their business.  They must also describe how any monies received will result in increases in the number of people traveling for business or pleasure on a trip.

Reimbursement
The City will reimburse the applicant upon completion of the project or event.  Applicants must first incur costs and then invoice the City under guidelines laid out in the Memorandum of Understanding. 

Contact Person
Each project application will designate a primary individual as the contact for the project.  This individual will deal directly with the City.

Tourism Promotion Program Criterialine

State law defining the use of special lodging tax:

State law defines promoting tourism as: "activities, operations, and expenditures designed to increase tourism, including but not limited to, advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists; developing strategies to expand tourism; operating tourism promotion agencies; and funding the marketing of or the operation of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists."

Awards are based on the extent to which the applicant project or activity meets the following criteria:
  • Priority is given to Redmond-based activities and projects
  • Priority is given to programs requesting seed money versus ongoing funding
  • The project or activity:
    • promotes tourism which benefits the overall community, rather than a specific segment or interest
    • supports regional tourism planning/promotion
    • promotes the unique attributes of Redmond for tourists and the community
    • promotes the city as a destination place
    • encourages partnerships (public/private)
    • supports long-lasting assets, capital facilities/amenities

Additional guidelines for the program are as follows:
  • Minimum award is $1,000.
  • No award of funds will exceed 50 percent of the cost of the event/activity.
  • Award will be contingent upon the applicant’s demonstration of other funding sources.
  • Expenditures are subject to audit.

The City reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to fund or not fund any particular project or program for which an application is submitted. The determination of whether to fund a particular project or program will be based upon a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the ability of the program or project to promote tourism in the city, the relative merits of the project or program compared to the applications, and the overall availability of funding. The City is the sole judge of its obligation to fund any particular project or program regardless of its merits under these factors.

Contact:
Karen Nolz, Tourism Promotions Program Administrator, 425-556-2444