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Where did the convention and visitors bureau come up with the figure that each tourist spends $290 a day?

Shannan Bowen

The Wilmington Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau uses a formula to estimate the economic impact of things like events and conventions at the city’s new convention center.

CVB officials used a formula structured by a trade organization and tweaked the formula to represent the local economy. They came up with a figure of $290 that they estimate each overnight tourist spends each day.

They break it down like this:

$137 for one night’s lodging;

$28 for food and beverages at the hotel;

$53 for food and beverages at other restaurants;

$6 on tours and sightseeing;

$2 for recreation;

$1 for sporting events;

$31 for retail spending;

$10 on local transportation;

$8 on auto rental;

$14 on gas and parking.

CVB staffers said they know each tourist does not spend all of this amount, which is why small figures like $1 for sporting events and $2 for recreation are used.

Related links:

How much of an economic boost will downtown conventions offer?

What is the convention center project all about?

What events are booked for the new Wilmington Convention Center?

Will the room occupancy tax go away once the convention center is completed?

What is the annual salary of the new general manager at the Wilmington Convention Center?

What’s the likelihood of seeing big-name concerts in Wilmington with the completion of the convention center?

User-contributed question by:
Leslie Posey

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4 Responses to “ Where did the convention and visitors bureau come up with the figure that each tourist spends $290 a day?”

  1. On October 14, 2010 at 2:20 pm Brandon wrote:

    That is the dumbest formula I have ever seen. The people running this town are idiots.

  2. On October 15, 2010 at 11:55 am Charles wrote:

    Auto rental, gas, parking, and public transport? The only sporting events I know you can get in to for $1 are the middle school football games. And just think, soon they can tack on the $3 or $5 people will be charged to cross the bridge to nowhere…

  3. On October 16, 2010 at 8:21 am Fred wrote:

    I used to do this for a living, and I agree with Brandon. Their figures are entertaining to those of us who know what we’re doing, but its disturbing to believe that some in local government might use them to create budgets.

  4. On October 19, 2010 at 3:04 pm Red wrote:

    I’ve traveled on to conventions and business before and never spent anywhere near that much on food. The only time I’ve spent that much on lodging was in a four star resort unlike anything in this area.

    I think they pulled these numbers out of their Application Software System and hope the public will believe it.

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