Many residents today began as a tourist. Tourists impact the local economy in may ways, by creating jobs, contributing to sales taxes for the state and county, funding public safety on the beach, and funding environmental improvements such as beach protection, restoration and preservation. Local residents play an important part in making tourists feel welcome, providing directions or just recommendations on restaurants or other amenities.
The Tourist Development Department consists of an overall director and a convention center manager among qualified, experienced staff, who perform the mission of the Tourist Development Council, referred to as the “TDC” and known as the Convention & Visitors Bureau, or “CVB”, outside the local area. The Tourist Development Department is required to promote the area and meet the following objectives below:
The TDC is solely-funded by the lodging tax paid by visitors staying overnight in the cities of Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island, Mary Esther and Cinco Bayou. Florida Statute 125.104 permits the Board of County Commissioners of Okaloosa County to levy Tourist Development Tax (TDT), and County Ordinances 89-23, 92-08, 99-08, 01-33, 05-102 and 07-58 created the Tourist Development Council, established the initial tax rate collection, and identified the special taxing districts with Okaloosa.
To stay up to date on the Tourist Development Department, click subscribe.emeraldcoastfl.com to receive our newsletter.
Zika Informational Page: http://www.visitflorida.org/resources/crisis-preparation/zika-virus-information/