City council moves ahead on hotel tax

WICHITA, Kansas – The Wichita City Council will move ahead on a new tax to promote Wichita.

The tax would bring in about $3 million a year to boost Wichita tourism.

A 2.75 percent tax would be added to hotel rooms in 2015 through the tourism business improvement district.

According to the 11-member committee created last September, the tax would apply to any hotel in Wichita with more than 50 beds.

Go Wichita proposed the district after seeing limited growth with city funds due to economic conditions.

Several people showed their support in the tax especially since it could generate more than $3 million a year for the Go Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We need to compete for the attraction of visitors that will stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, shop in our retail areas, enjoy our entertainment facilities and in general support our businesses in the local area,” said Wayne Chamber, Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce.

The move is estimated to raise $2.5 million a year.  That money would go to the Go Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau to be used to market Wichita.

KSN spoke to hotel officials who agree that the move would be a step in the right direction to make Wichita a known city.

“Even through the course of surveys through Go Wichita, they found that meeting planners were not considering Wichita just for lack of information, not for a negative impression or even a positive impression, there just was none.”

While research is still being done to determine how to market the city properly to get more traction, optimism is high that the city will do well with the help and easily move forward.

And to the nay sayers that may not think Wichita has enough to offer to add on the fee.

“I would say don’t undersell Wichita, don’t underestimate the value of what is here and what is available, I mean, tourisim is a potentially billion dollar industry in this market alone,” said Matt Dolan, Wichita Hotel and Lodging Committee.

 

 

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