Interested groups or organizations have until October 1, 2022 to submit applications.
The application link can be found at: https://bit.ly/CHQTourismGrants2023. Hard copies of the application are also available at the offices of the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development located at 201 West Third Street, Suite 115, in Jamestown, N.Y., during normal business hours.
The Tourism Product Development Grant Program is funded through the County’s 5% occupancy or “bed tax” for the rental of lodging units within the County. Three-fifths (3%) of the revenue that is generated from this tax is used to increase tourism, conventions, trade shows, special events, and other directly related or supporting activities including businesses in the county. The two-fifths (2%) occupancy tax is utilized solely for the enhancement and protection of lakes and streams in Chautauqua County. A portion of the 3% occupancy tax is intended to provide grants for projects that will achieve and/or support special tourism product and event development initiatives.
After tourism declined in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions, the 2021 occupancy tax revenues exceeded expectations by nearly 40% with revenues exceeding budget by more than $500,000. Revenues exceeded 2019 levels, before the pandemic, by 5.4%.
According to recent travel industry studies, in addition to eco-tourism, wellness activities or wellness-centric travel was a priority. Wellness can be immersive cultural experiences, mental, physical, or spiritual growth such as lifelong learning opportunities, reunions of families and friends, and food and beverage experiences.
Those applying for funding should have programs and initiatives that help create destination awareness of Chautauqua County as a place to visit and/or improve the likelihood of repeat visits to the area. A key concern for the future of Chautauqua County’s tourism industry is to create and promote products and experiences that will attract more visitors, particularly for overnight visits and in the pre- and post-summer seasons.
Grant funds are not intended for facility maintenance or long-term operational costs.
Applications for the 3% Tourism Product Development Grant Program may be submitted by various groups and organizations, including: not-for-profits, governments, businesses/corporations, public or private schools, and all landowners of Chautauqua County.
For more information, please contact Nate Aldrich at (716) 363-3672 or firstname.lastname@example.org.