Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CVB?

A destination organization or Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is a not-for-profit organization charged with representing a specific destination and most are largely funded by hotel occupancy taxes.  CVBs give planners access to a wide range of services within their destinations, including but not limited to: arranging site inspections, checking hotel and meeting space availability, and linking planners to expert local service providers. CVBs and their destination experts serve as extensions of your planning team. 

How is a CVB funded?

A majority of CVBs are not-for-profit organizations primarily funded by their local governments, usually through a portion of hotel occupancy taxes. Their mission is to promote the long-term development and marketing of a destination, focusing on convention sales, tourism marketing and service. As the tourism marketing arm of the destination, the CVB is responsible for creating public awareness about their destination and, ultimately, booking the meeting and event business that feeds the economic engine of the region. 

Ultimately, travel and tourism enhances the quality of life for a local community by providing jobs, bringing in tax dollars for improvement of services and infrastructure, and attracting facilities like restaurants, shops, festivals, and cultural and sporting venues that cater to both visitors and locals.

What is the advantage of using a CVB?

CVBs help planners save time and money with several meeting planning services. CVBs employ sales professionals who serve as destination experts and advise planners on the appropriate hotels, meeting facilities, convention facilities, and other unique meeting locations within the destination. On behalf of the planners’ needs, the CVB contact researches price and availability of guest rooms and meeting space for the specific or range of dates at no commissions. In addition to site selection services, CVBs may also provide site inspections, local business referrals, promotional brochures, registration staffing, housing services and attendance promotions. 

Is a CVB interested in only my large meetings?

No, a CVB handles meetings from 10 peak rooms up, and is willing to provide the same care and expertise to both large and small meetings.

Will a CVB send my lead out to all their members?

No, you can decide who you would like to receive the lead within the destination and how and when you would like to receive responses. All you have to do is ask!

What is the advantage of using the resources of Destinations International?

We help simplify the planning process in the preliminary stages when you are considering multiple destinations with one stop shopping. Destinations International gives you the opportunity to search destinations of interest in one online portal. Here you can find information on nearby airports, intellectual capital, event impact reporting and more.

Is there a Cost for Meeting Planners to use

No. There is no cost for planners to search and compare destinations.

Member vs Non-Member

Approximately 50% of all CVBs have dues-paying members – hotels, restaurants, attractions, and other businesses that benefit from tourism – and the other 50% are completely government funded. Regardless, the first-and-foremost goal of either a membership-based or non-membership CVB is to market the entire destination by providing expert assistance, education and guidance to you, the client.

As a planner, should you prefer to work with a non-membership based CVB over a bureau that collects dues from participating members? Is there a different level of service and product representation? The answer is an emphatic NO! Regardless of organizational structure, every CVB’s goal is the same: to successfully market the destination by satisfying the needs and desires of the customer. Here’s a little insight on how each structure works.

Membership CVBs

Membership-based bureaus are funded by a combination of lodging taxes and annual membership dues from the hotels, convention facilities, and local businesses within their destinations; there may be additional sources of revenue, such as public or private funding as well. Typically, hotel bed taxes comprise approximately 79 percent of their total revenues, while membership dues fund a much smaller portion.

Like any CVB, membership-funded bureaus will only send leads to the members that meet a planner’s criteria. CVBs are evaluated by their stakeholders on a range of return on investment (ROI) metrics, including confirmed meetings -- not on how many different properties or vendors receive leads.

Non-Membership CVBs

Non-member bureaus are totally funded by their local governments, much like the fire department, police department, and education.  But unlike those non-revenue producing departments, the local government’s investment in the CVB is offset by the revenue the CVB generates and help to underwrite the cost of the community’s firemen, police, and teachers.

Although the non-member bureau represents all businesses equally within their destination, they are not required to distribute your lead or RFP to all parties. Like all CVBs, their first step in building trust with the meeting planner is to jointly determine which hotels, facilities, attractions, and activities are the best fit for the program, then conserve everyone’s time and energy by reaching out only to those suppliers.