ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The mayor of Albany and the city commission asked the Carl Vinson Institute to assess the structure of our Convention and Visitors Bureau.
They interviewed 40 CVB's in the region, including managers and experts, and analyzed activity, budgets, and workload.
What the city received was excellent advice, and best practices guidance, from a very trustworthy source.
The big takeaways listed in the executive summary are those many of us, who have served on the Chamber board, have pushed for over the years: An independent Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The ACVB should be independent, because it may have conflicts with the Chamber's focus and political interests.
The vast majority of CVB's comparable with Albany, successfully operate independently from the chamber. Only six of 40 in the peer group, use the Albany Chamber model.
An independent ACVB will not in any way harm the chamber because the chamber is not using the hotel-motel tax funds for any other chamber activities.
An independent ACVB will allow for a more nimble organization focused on tourism, with a more direct relationship with the city.
We hope the city commission will make this change, to help us grow our very important tourism industry.