What is the Ripley CVB?
What is the Ripley Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB)
The Ripley Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (or CVB) is a marketing organization working to attract overnight visitors to Ripley, WV and to provide support to our tourism attractions and related businesses and organizations.
How are CVB’s funded?
In West Virginia, CVBs are funded by hotel/motel tax (sometimes referred to as occupancy tax). When a guest stays in a hotel room or private vacation rental property in Putnam County, a 6% hotel/motel tax is collected. Half of that tax goes to a local CVB, which may also receive revenue on occasion from sponsorships or grants.
What do CVB’s do?
CVBs are a DMO, which stands for Destination Marketing Organization. The main purpose of a DMO is to promote tourism to their respective area. This is primarily done through advertising, marketing, and the distribution of printed materials such as travel guides and brochures. The primary market for a CVB is outside of a 50-mile radius, which means locals often are not aware of the marketing efforts of their area’s DMO.
How does the Ripley CVB advertise?
The Ripley CVB uses a mixture of traditional (print and broadcast), digital, and social media channels as part of its marketing plan, and sponsors many events of interest to visitors. The CVB aids travelers and event planners in making local connections and finding resources to help their efforts have the maximum impact. The CVB develops an annual marketing plan that adapts to changing visitor preferences and markets available attractions.
Because CVBs market nearly exclusively to potential travelers from outside the area, it is common for residents to have little awareness of a CVBs marketing efforts. While locals do benefit from these efforts, they are not a primary target market of a CVB’s advertising plan. The main metric for a CVB’s advertising or marketing effort is its efficacy in attracting more “heads in beds” to local lodging establishments.
Are CVBs the same as a chamber of commerce?
No. A chamber of commerce is a member-based association of businesses working together to further mutually beneficial goals and grow member businesses. Typically, those goals are local or regional in nature and are not primarily focused on meeting the needs of visitors to the area. Chambers and CVBs can collaborate on resource gathering and networking. However, their respective missions are different. In short, CVB’s are focused on tourism; chambers of commerce are focused on businesses in the local community.
Are CVBs Economic Development Authorities (EDA)?
No. The goal of an EDA (the Jackson County Development Authority locally) is to stimulate economic growth in an area through business development that fills underdeveloped markets, and to put to work underutilized skills and talents of the people in their area. Their goals can relate to tourism, however, the purpose of an EDA is not to support a specific industry. CVBs are focused on tourism to an area; EDAs are focused on economic development in the area.
Do my tax dollars fund CVB efforts?
Your tax dollars DO NOT fund the CVB unless you choose to rent a hotel room or private vacation rental (such as an AirBNB property) in the City of Ripley. Our CVB, like all of West Virginia’s CVBs, is funded almost 100% by the hotel/motel taxes collected by City of Ripley lodging establishments. A CVB promotes tourism in a designated area, and operates on the tax revenue collected in that area from overnight stays by outside visitors. In fact, the economic impact of these visitors to Ripley, WV actually reduces the tax burden that would otherwise be carried by local citizens.
Why doesn’t the CVB organize more events?
CVBs market an area’s attractions, events, and related activities. Events require staffing and incredible amounts of time and resources. Most CVBs, including the Ripley CVB, do not have enough resources to plan events while also fulfilling the primary mission of the organization. A CVB evaluates what efforts will have the most positive and measurable impact on the area they represent and focuses its resources there. Sometimes CVBs will plan events or assist with event planning if by doing so has a direct impact on overnight stays. CVBs are charged with marketing and supporting events in the county, but not organizing or staffing them.
Do you sponsor local events?
The CVB can sponsor some local events, with preference given to those events with the highest likelihood of drawing outside visitors and overnight stays. When organizing an event seeking CVB sponsorship, it’s always best to approach us early with sponsorship requests. Even if the CVB cannot sponsor a local event financially, we are happy to share events in our event calendar and through social media channels.
How is the other half of the hotel/motel tax spent?
West Virginia state code lists a variety of acceptable uses for the remaining half of the hotel/motel tax. This includes things such as enhancements to parks and recreation facilities, beautification projects, enhancement of cultural and historic attractions, and support of the arts. Each county commission or city council has the authority to determine the best use of the remaining half of the hotel/motel tax revenue that is not remitted to a local CVB.
Is the CVB a non-profit organization?
Yes, the Ripley CVB is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. However, donations made to the CVB are not tax-deductible.
Have a question not on this list?
Reach out to us at 304.881.9721 or director@VisitRipleyWV.com.