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2020 TBID

The Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the official tourism marketing agency for the Coachella Valley. Founded in May 1989 by a Joint Powers Authority comprising the cities of Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta and Indio, the CVB was created as a public-private partnership to help grow the region’s tourism economy.

The mission of the CVB is to positively affect the destination’s tourism economy and quality of life for its citizens, serving more than 90 TBID hotel partners and providing sales, marketing and public relations support targeting potential leisure travelers from around the world as well as event, meeting and convention groups. In addition to destination sales and marketing, the CVB supports air service development, workforce development, consumer and group business research, visitor studies and destination stewardship.

Here's a look at what was accomplished in 2019.

 

All current CVB reports and studies can be found online here
Meet our dedicated team and Board of Directors here.

What is a Tourism Business Improvement District?

A Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) is a group of lodging properties within a defined area that pays an assessment to receive specific benefits. Similar to the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), the assessment is passed on to the customer. Unlike the TOT, the Tourism Business Improvement District funds are specifically earmarked for destination promotions, marketing, sales and public relations designed to bring more visitors to the destination.

Over 160 tourism improvement districts exist across the United States, with the majority being in California, including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Big Bear Lake, Napa Valley, Huntington Beach, Oceanside and Temecula. 

The Greater Palm Springs Tourism Business Improvement District helps us compete with these destinations and ensures that the potential visitor is aware of the wonderful activities, events, attractions and unique places to stay. 

Additional FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
  • How is the Greater Palm Springs Tourism Business Improvement District set up?

    Developed by the CVB to create a stable, long-term funding source for tourism promotion, the Greater Palm Springs Tourism Business Improvement District provides specific benefits to lodging businesses contributing to the district that ultimately helps our destination remain competitive worldwide.

    Lodging properties that contribute to the district help govern it. A cross-section of representatives from these assessed lodging properties serves on the CVB’s Board of Directors, who weigh in on the marketing strategy and tactics deployed. Since we are adding the short-term vacation rental industry to the TBID, the CVB board will increase its short-term vacation rental representatives. 

    Assessments will not be collected on what are considered long-term stays. They will only be collected on stays of 27 days or less. 

    The funds collected through the district provide specific benefits to contributing lodging businesses by funding marketing and sales promotion initiatives. The assessed lodging partners are divided into two groups:

    • Group 1: All lodging businesses with 50 rooms or more, assessed at 3% of gross short-term rental revenue.

    • Group 2: Vacation rental homes assessed at 1% of total short-term rental revenue.

    The two groups in the Tourism Business Improvement District share the same map boundaries, which include the cities of Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta and Indio, as well as a portion of the unincorporated areas of Riverside County in the Coachella Valley. 

     TBID Civitas Boundary Map

  • How much is the assessment and how does my business pay?

    The annual assessment rate is a percentage (3% for hotels; 1% for vacation rental properties) of gross short-term rental revenue. Assessments will not be collected on long-term stays of 28 days or more. The assessment is passed on to the guest via their nightly bill or contract. 

    The CVB is working to make payment seamless and easy for vacation rental owners and agencies by partnering with each city and the county to collect the TBID assessment for vacation rentals, once approved, on the same forms they collect monthly Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) and remit those funds to the CVB.

    Hotels will continue to remit the assessment directly to the CVB using the forms provided by the CVB each month.

  • Does the CVB receive any other funding?

    Yes, the CVB also receives funds from Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta and Indio, as well as Riverside County. These funds represent 9.6% of the CVB’s total annual budget. 

    We also have private funds that are collected from partnership opportunities, marketing co-ops and sales co-ops. The funds represent 6.7% of the CVB’s total annual budget. 

  • Who manages the Tourism Business Improvement District funds and how is the money spent?

    The CVB is responsible for managing the funds to implement programs in accordance with the CVB’s annual Sales & Marketing Plan.

    However, the Tourism Business Improvement District is designed, created and governed by the CVB Board of Directors. If the Tourism Improvement Business District passes, the CVB Board of Directors will be expanded to add additional representation from the short-term vacation rental industry. 

    The CVB is proud to share that 94% of the funds collected go directly into sales and marketing and only 6% supports finance and administration. 

    All of the CVB’s marketing efforts are tested to ensure that its programs are effectively targeting the right travelers for the destination’s various seasons. The CVB has extensive research on these travelers and develops educational opportunities for Partners to learn how to maximize online travel agencies like Expedia, Trip Advisor and Travelzoo. The CVB also partners with a social media firm that not only helps the CVB become more effective but also provides insights on the latest best practices and trends that the CVB shares with its Partners. 

    The CVB has a very diverse media plan consisting of digital, television, digital billboards, radio, print and social media. In 2019, the CVB aired over 2.5 million TV commercials in key markets around the country, and its digital marketing programs generated over 198 million impressions. Altogether, the CVB marketing plan generated over 43 billion impressions in 2018, and the VisitGreaterPalmSprings.com website generated over 3.2 million sessions with over 6.4 million pages of content consumed. 

    TBID Destination Mkting

  • What are the investor benefits of the Tourism Business Improvement District?

    The Tourism Business Improvement District increases bookings. It does so through sales and marketing promotions and destination development designed to raise awareness of the Greater Palm Springs brand and grow visitation to the destination. 

    The Tourism Business Improvement District currently fuels a robust annual marketing program devised to generate demand by targeting leisure travelers, meeting planners, travel professionals and event producers. The privileges and services provided through the CVB’s Sales & Marketing Plan are sales, marketing and destination development programs exclusively available to the assessed businesses. These programs include:

    • Multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns targeting high-value travelers

    • Content marketing platforms

    • Earned media coverage

    • Travel trade education

    • Convention sales

    • Community relations

    • Infrastructure projects

    • Workforce development

    • Transportation development (air, rail, car)

    • Destination research

    • Destination stewardship

  • What are the benefits for hotels?

    The Greater Palm Springs Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) ensures a stable and ongoing source of funds specifically earmarked for marketing and development of the destination, with a goal of ensuring that Greater Palm Springs continues to grow its number of visitors and remain competitive as a national and international destination. 

    Benefits specific to assessed hotel lodging Partners include:

    • Destination sales and marketing platforms to create demand for the Greater Palm Springs experience and strategically grow visitation among high-value travelers.

    • Enhanced digital presence, which increases awareness and optimizes the electronic online footprint of assessed hotel businesses.

    • Increased room night bookings yielded from TBID-funded marketing campaigns and group sales tactics.

    • Off-peak promotion, which drives hotel demand from drive and fly markets in the summer months and shoulder season when occupancy levels are historically lower.

    • Air service development, which builds new audiences and makes Greater Palm Springs more accessible to domestic and international travelers.

    • Growing international visitation to generate demand during need periods among an audience that stays longer and spends more.

    • Cultural tourism initiatives to increase overnight visitation and room sales year-round.

    • Recession protection for the destination through a stable marketing foundation during economic downturns, enabling accelerated recovery.

    • Workforce development to effectively staff hotels and regional visitor service industries.

    • Research studies that inform consumer and meetings marketing strategies to ensure the greatest ROI in addition to revealing destination development opportunities.

    • Lead-generation activities designed to attract tourists and group events to assessed businesses.

    • Director of sales and general manager meetings to plan and coordinate tourism promotion efforts for assessed businesses.

    • Preparation and production of collateral promotional materials, such as brochures, flyers and maps featuring assessed businesses.

    • Attendance of professional industry conferences and affiliation events to promote assessed businesses.

    Questions about TBID benefits for hotels? Contact Davis Meyer, Director of Partnership at (760) 969-1360 or dmeyer@gpscvb.com.

  • What are the benefits for vacation rental properties?
    • The TBID will elevate the Coachella Valley and our perceptions, which will attract visitors that will stay longer and spend more money. Here are a few examples of our current programs: 

      • The CVB’s Summer Chill campaign is an integrated push on all CVB channels, including media across TV, billboard, digital, social and PR, as well as partner co-op television. Any time demand softens, the CVB’s marketing resources can be deployed to target short-lead drive and getaway markets.
         
      • Unlike many of our competitors, business travelers are not a significant part of Greater Palm Springs’ clientele. Given leisure and group business dominate the destination’s visitor base, the CVB focuses on growing those segments from key international markets.

      • Through partner collaboration with communities and agencies, we avoid duplicating marketing efforts and ensure that everyone’s marketing dollars go further.

    • Vacation rental advocacy to educate elected officials, stakeholders and visitors on industry best practices, compliance and permit requirements—as well as help inform Coachella Valley residents how vacation rentals benefit our tourism economy.

    • Enhanced digital presence expanding awareness and optimizing the electronic online footprint of vacation rental properties, such as a landing page on the online booking website HomeAway for vacation rentals in Greater Palm Springs.

    • Cultural tourism and event support that brings in more visitors and helps drive up demand for vacation rentals. One of the ways we do this is with customized website landing pages that get pushed out pre-event on social media channels to create awareness, buzz and bookings.

      Custom event landing page examples: Modernism WeekPalm Springs International Film Festival and BNP Paribas Open. 

    Modernism Week Signature Event Screen Grab

    PSIFF Signature Event Screengrab

    BNP Paribas Signature Event Screengrab

    • Industry research and consumer studies to help develop best practices and maximize destination marketing return on investment in addition to revealing destination development opportunities. You can view all CVB research and studies here.

    • Tourism industry inclusion giving vacation rental owners and managers a louder voice and stronger influence shaping the future of tourism in Greater Palm Springs. Seats will be added to the CVB’s Board of Directors for vacation rental industry representatives.

    • Air service development to build new audiences and make Greater Palm Springs more accessible to domestic and international travelers.

    • Recession protection for Greater Palm Springs through a stable marketing foundation during economic downturns, enabling accelerated recovery. During the last major recession in 2008, Greater Palm Springs was one of the hardest hit California destinations. Instead of the typical 3-year recovery window, the full recovery took 7 years. When future downturns come, the TBID helps provide “insurance” to help mitigate damages.

      During the COVID-19 crisis, the CVB reassessed its marketing plan and focused on the key programs that included:

    • Providing resources and the latest information for the local tourism industry.

    • Assisting CVB clients and local hotels to rebook and working on leads for Fall 2020, 2021 and beyond. 

    • Creating a video message about supporting tourism and the valley. 

    • Working with CVEP and the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce to ensure the valley’s voice is heard in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. for financial support and more.

    • Moving forward with PSP air service efforts to ensure the airlines know that we have Coachella/Stagecoach and a lot of rebooked meetings.

    • Working on marketing strategy that resonates with our changing travel landscape.

  • How has the CVB responded to COVID-19?

    This spring, when the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic shut down travel and required our local residents to shelter-in-place, the CVB adjusted its marketing plan accordingly and shifted its focus to keeping the local hospitality industry informed; creating resources for the local community, visitors and CVB Partners; and leading a coordinated response and recovery to assist our tourism partners.

    The devastating impact of COVID-19 has many in our tourism community facing extreme financial hardship. To help both the local community and the many local tourism and hospitality workers out of work, the CVB launched several initiatives:

    Stay in. Take out campaign: This was developed to encourage residents to support local restaurants by ordering delivery or takeout for their next meal. The website includes a continually curated list.

    Stay In, Dine Out Open Graph

    Oasis at Home online portal: Until it’s time to travel again, visitors can enjoy Greater Palm Springs from home thanks to this new online portal filled with virtual tours, local classes and destination experiences.

    Oasis at Home - TBID Page

    Seniors First landing page: To help keep the local community’s senior residents safe, a Seniors First page was created that highlights special store hours for seniors and other at-risk customers. 

    Seniors First - Header

    Hospitality Worker support fund: The Greater Palm Springs CVB is partnering with local nonprofit Lift to Rise to collect donations for families in the local hospitality industry who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.

    Hospitality Fund - TBID Page

    Stay in Place PSA: To help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, the CVB has joined Riverside County in creating a public service announcement reminding residents to “Stay in Your Place. Maintain Your Space. Cover Your Face.”

    Greater Together Community TV Spot: Created by the CVB in-house to boost the community spirit during this difficult time.


    The CVB is now working on what recovery looks like and how all of our cities and various sectors can work together in a unified approach, such as collaborating on a proposal for Riverside County to review best practices and protocols that keep our residents and visitors safe and allow for the reopening of our local economy. A self-created Economic Recovery Team was formed that includes all of the economic directors, CVEP, valley chambers, Riverside County and the CVB.

    When it is time to travel again, the CVB is prepared to execute a sales and marketing strategy that will resonate with the changing travel landscape. This strategy includes a three-phased approach with response, pre-recovery, and recovery stages in order to shift messaging as the traveler landscape evolves. 

    Phase One (Response), which has been in place since March, has focused on providing important resources and public service announcements to the local community via frequent email communication, television, billboards, PR, and social media. 

    Phase Two (Pre-Recovery) will focus on providing inspiration to travelers in the nearby drive markets, encouraging consumers to dream about and plan their next trip to Greater Palm Springs. Images, video content, virtual tours, and other destination experiences will be deployed via email marketing, drive market television and billboards, PR, and social media. 

    Finally, Phase Three (Recovery) will include a full drive market campaign with a call to action to book travel to Greater Palm Springs. In this phase, digital advertising, co-op programs, print, and online travel agencies (OTAs) will join drive market television, email marketing, PR, and social media to create a robust campaign to encourage visitation to the destination. 

    We have seen that our community is resilient and strong, and we know the future of Greater Palm Springs remains bright as we get through this challenging time together.

    We look forward to restarting our economy and getting our community back to work as soon as we can. 

     

  • What are the steps of the renewal process?

    On June 26, 2020, the Greater Palm Springs Board of Directors and Joint Powers Authority unanimously approved Greater Palm Springs’ resolution to renew the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID).

    The renewed Tourism Business Improvement District will have a 10-year life, beginning July 1, 2021.

    A comprehensive 2021-2031 Management District Plan—which covers the legalities, budget, collections process, penalties and interest, list of assessed businesses and more—will be available in the spring of 2020. Below is an outline of the steps toward Tourism Business Improvement District renewal.

     Steps for Renewal Chart

     

  • How it’s working: examples of return on investment

    In 2016, the CVB announced a goal of attracting over 16 million visitors to the Coachella Valley by 2026. To get there, the CVB will continue to develop new and innovative programs to ensure it can compete effectively and drive demand to you and your business. For an overview summary of the CVB’s Destination Development Plan, click the image below.

    Cover photo of GPSNext Document

    You can also read our full 2019 Annual Report here, but the following examples demonstrate how the CVB utilizes Tourism Business Improvement District funds to create ongoing destination growth.

    Improved Brand Image

    TBID_Brand Identity Icon

    According to SMARI’s 2018 Image Awareness Study, significant gains were seen since the 2011 study in perceptions of Greater Palm Springs across all image attributes, from safety and atmosphere to natural beauty and affordability. 

    Increased Demand for Lodging

    TBIB Lodging Icon

    Since the Tourism Business Improvement District went into effect in 2009, lodging properties in Greater Palm Springs have seen a steady increase in demand, stimulating sustained economic development and growth. And CVB-generated lodging revenues grew from $984 million in 2013 to $1.735 billion in 2019.

    Growth of Air Service

    TBID Air Service

    Air service (number of airlines and flights serving PSP) increased 53% from 2013 to 2019 in Greater Palm Springs. The current 29,096 annual flights into Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) equates to a capacity of 3,274,729 annual passenger seats in and out of PSP.

    Improved accessibility translates to visitation growth from both nonstop and connecting fly (vacation) markets. There are currently more than 20 cities with nonstop air service to PSP. Notable flight additions in 2019 include Alaska Airlines’ Everett (WA) service, Contour Airlines’ Sacramento flight and Delta’s Atlanta flight offered 4 times per week. 

    Event Attraction

    TBID Event Attractions Icon

    Tourism Business Improvement District marketing funds enabled the CVB to attract large-scale, high-profile events such as IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells-La Quinta, as well as help manage Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week, a valley-wide initiative. Events of this nature help grow visitation in shoulder seasons and increase awareness of the destination. 

    Convention Sales

    TBID Convention Sales Icon

    The CVB’s convention sales team secured 2,269 meetings for Tourism Business Improvement District contributors between 2013 and 2019, accounting for 1,580,613 room nights and an estimated economic impact of $1.2 billion

    Tourism Development

    TBID Tourism Development

    Between 2013 and 2019, the Tourism Development team connected with 51,405 travel professionals in the top 15 countries sending the most visitors to California. These agents and tour operators are particularly influential in converting off-peak and shoulder season bookings. 

    Building Awareness

    TBID Building Awareness Icon

    Paid advertising raised awareness from 1.7 billion annual impressions in 2014 to 43 billion annual impressions in 2019. The Greater Palm Springs brand reached prospective travelers on television, online, out-of-home and in print via regional and national distribution channels.

    Media Buzz

    TBID Media Buzz Icon

    The CVB’s media relations program secured feature stories to complement paid advertising and content initiatives while amplifying the region’s new product developments. Since 2013, the destination benefitted from 2,780 placements yielding more than 8.45 billion impressions in influential editorial outlets, including leading wire services, newspapers, lifestyle magazines, websites, podcasts, broadcast television programs and radio networks.   

    Social Media

    TBID Social Media Icon

    Between 2014 and 2019, the CVB’s social media audience grew 350% to over 425,000 followers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Since 2013, destination and attraction videos posted by the CVB received over 20 million views. Seasonal campaigns further increased engagement and drove off-season bookings. New channels have also been introduced, including a Weibo account to reach the lucrative, high-volume China market; a meetings awareness campaign; and Instagram and Twitter accounts dedicated to the culinary scene in Greater Palm Springs.

    Website Optimization

    TBID Website Optimization

    In 2018, the CVB relaunched the destination website on a new platform to better optimize SEO, facilitate mobile-first response and ensure the website offers an improved user experience. Organic traffic increased 96% over 2017 and mobile use increased by 171%.

    Tourism Ambassador Program

    TBID CTA

    The CVB debuted a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) program with the aim of increasing tourism by providing training for any individual who comes into contact with visitors. These front-line destination ambassadors help to ensure all visitors have a positive experience in the destination. This is critical for driving repeat visitation and word-of-mouth promotion of the destination. As of February 29, 2020, 500 CTAs have been trained.

    Funding Public Services

    TBID Funding Icon

    The CVB’s marketing efforts attract more visitors to the destination, increasing TOT collections for the cities and counties served by the Tourism Business Improvement District. Growing TOT translates to increased budgets for important public services such as police, firefighters, education and more.

    These are just some examples of how Tourism Business Improvement District revenues generated from visitor stays are reinvested in the community and benefit your bottom line. 

  • How do I submit a petition?

    Petitions will be mailed to eligible voters. Petitions will also be available to pick up at the CVB offices, located at 70100 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage, CA, 92270.

    If you have any questions, please contact Director of Partnership Davis Meyer. 

  • How can I stay informed about the TBID?

    CLICK HERE to sign up for our TBID mailing list and receive updates about the status of the renewal, CVB destination marketing updates and other Partner news.

AR 2019_Updated Tourism Impact graphic