Local News

May 7, 2014

Dalton, Whitfield hotel tax revenues set another record

— Dalton and Whitfield County collected a record $1.6 million in hotel/motel taxes in 2013, up about $300,000 from 2012. This marks the fourth straight year hotel/motel tax collections have set a record.

“This was a result of everyone working together, the city, the county, the trade center and the CVB (Dalton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau) and all of our partners,” said Brett Huske, CVB executive director.

Huske presented checks symbolizing that money to city and county officials Wednesday afternoon at the Freight Depot downtown.

Most of the area’s hotels are inside Dalton city limits, so the city collects the bulk of hotel/motel tax. The city received $1.4 million in hotel/motel taxes in 2013, while the county received $238,000. The money can only be used for tourism-related initiatives.

Huske said travel and tourism generate some $53.6 billion in direct and indirect economic activity in Georgia and support some 411,000 jobs.

“Sports tourism has always been the leader for us. It’s the most significant in terms of generating lodging tax,” he said. “That continues to grow for us, but so do all of the other types of tourism, so we aren’t really seeing any change in the relative impact of the various types of tourism.

Sports tourism includes softball tournaments, the Snake Creek Gap time trials bicycle rides and other large sporting events.

Huske said interest in the Civil War remains strong and the annual spring Civil War show at the trade center as well as several tours of Civil War sites in the area did strong business.

But will interest in the Civil War wane after the war’s 150th anniversary observation ends next year?

“We certainly hope that it doesn’t, and we think that we have used the sesquicentennial to build up a lot of recognition of what Dalton and Whitfield County have to offer. We think that this will remain a strong segment for us in the future,” Huske said.

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