A Deep Dive into Travel Improvement Districts, with Tiffany Gallagher

Episode 111:

Tiffany Gallagher is eastern USA branch manager for Civitas, where she helps clients form and manage Tourism Improvement Districts. Throughout her career, she has shown a strong commitment to the tourism and business communities. Most recently she served as the President of the Greater Syracuse Hospitality and Tourism Association and currently serves on the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Board of Directors. Relevant experience also includes; serving on the Board of Directors of Destination Marketing Organizations, Strategic Planning Councils, and Business Improvement Districts.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Tiffany about how Tourism Improvement Districts (TIDs) can create a public/private partnership that brings huge benefits to a travel region. These can be formed around hotel accommodations, wineries, breweries or ski resorts. TIDs create a stable funding stream and puts decision-making in the hands of industry leaders in the region.

What You Will Learn:

  • The role that Tourism Improvement Districts (TIDs) play in building a destination’s competitive advantage
  • How TIDs are getting more traction in the eastern United States
  • How to set up a TID as a legal entity
  • Why TIDs are a benefit to both the public and private sector in the district
  • The crucial role of relationships in DMOs, local government, and industry in a successful TID partnership
  • How to gather the general data needed and the buy-in to form a TID in your area
  • How a TID establishes a stable funding stream to market your region as a unique travel destination
  • Why there are no size requirements for establishing a TID – from one hotel to major cities
  • How TIDs can form around any travel-related industry (wine, brewery, skiing, etc.) that agrees to form one

When and Why to Form a TID

TIDs are an exciting concept that has been a big factor on the west coast of the US and are slowly growing in popularity across the eastern US.

What makes a TID such an attractive idea? The power, Tiffany tells us, is that this funding mechanism is championed by the industry. It is also managed and spent by the industry. TIDs are a stable form of marketing funding that hotels or other travel categories in a region can use until it doesn’t make sense anymore. If the payers are not benefitting, they can disband the TID.

How to Form a TID

A Tourism Improvement District is a legal entity. Tiffany has formed organizations as small as one hotel and as large as all the hotels in a mid-sized city. Relationships are key, as this is essentially a public/private partnership between local governments and the industry players in a given region.


Episode Transcript

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