Alabama’s first Tourism Improvement District goes into effect in Mobile July 1

Alabama’s first Tourism Improvement District goes into effect in Mobile July 1
The new Mobile Tourism Improvement District aims to boost visitors to the Port City. (file)

The Mobile Area Lodging Corporation has formed a Mobile Tourism Improvement District (MTID) with a new hotel room assessment that goes into effect July 1.

The district provides specific benefits to more than 65 lodging properties by funding targeted marketing and sales promotions to generate hotel room nights.

The MTID includes all lodging properties with 40 rooms or more in the city of Mobile. The annual assessment rate will be $1 per occupied room night, a cost that will be assessed to the hotel guest and included on the guest’s room portfolio upon checkout. The Mobile City Council approved the MTID on May 19. The district is set to expire May 31, 2025.

“The Tourism Improvement District is a game changer and is a terrific example of what coming together collectively can do to raise the bar in elevating lodging and tourism in our great city,” said Kent Blackinton, president of the Mobile Area Lodging Association (MALA). “Our lodging partners are united and are ready to be innovative to produce positive results. All stakeholders win.”

The MTID is designed to provide benefits directly to the hotels through targeted digital, print, broadcast, internet and mobile advertising and marketing, as well as convention sales. Visitor interaction programs and capital improvement projects aimed at tourists are in the plans.

The Mobile Area Lodging Corporation (MALC) is made up of six hoteliers from each geographic part of the city, as well as the MALA president, one attractions representative, one restaurant representative and two nonvoting members from the city of Mobile and Visit Mobile. MALC will oversee the use of MTID funds. Visit Mobile will develop and implement the plans under MALC’s supervision.

“The Tourism Improvement District creates a significant platform to position Mobile as a top tourist destination,” said David Clark, Visit Mobile president and CEO. “Congratulations to our lodging partners for seven years of hard work and tremendous leadership to bring the MTID to fruition.”

Over 165 TIDs have been formed since the introduction of the program in 1989. New Orleans and Kenner, Louisiana, Savannah, Georgia, Memphis, Tennessee, and Tampa, Florida, have or are pursuing a TID.

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