Visit Quad Cities is looking for alternative tools to do tourism marketing, promotion, and destination development in order to remain competitive.

Increasingly, cities across the country are turning to tourism improvement districts (TIDs) as a way to boost their tourism efforts and retain market share. Visit Quad Cities is hosting a Wednesday meeting about such districts with industry expert Tiffany Gallagher, Vice President of Operations for California-based Civitas.

The public session is at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the TaxSlayer Center, 1201 River Drive, Moline.

A tourism improvement district (TID) is a stable funding source for marketing efforts to increase occupancy and room rates for lodging businesses, according to a Visit Quad Cities release. Funds raised through a small assessment on lodging stays provide services desired by and directly benefitting the businesses in the district.

There are currently 190 TIDs around the U.S. in small, medium, and large markets, in addition to 18 states that have the districts. Twelve more states are considering TIDs, including Iowa and Illinois.

A 2017 Civitas national study on TIDs said they “have revolutionized destination marketing funding” since originating in California in 1989. “By providing stable, dedicated funds for destination marketing, Tourism Improvement Districts have forever altered the destination marketing financing landscape,” the report said.

Among its findings:

  • On average, destination marketing funding increased by nearly 180% after forming a Tourism Improvement District.
  • If tourism improvement district funds were eliminated, traditional media, online media, website development and staffing would be the most likely budget items to be cut.
  • 49% of destinations formed a Tourism Improvement District due to insufficient existing funding or a need for additional funding.
  • 68% of Tourism Improvement District assessments are based on a percentage of room night sales.
Tiffany Gallagher

Throughout her career, Tiffany Gallagher has shown strong commitment to the tourism and business communities. Her industry experience includes a board position on the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Board of Directors, Past President of the Greater Syracuse Hospitality and Tourism Association, serving on the Board of Directors of Destination Marketing Organizations, Strategic Planning Councils, and Business Improvement Districts, according to her bio.

Since joining the Civitas team in 2017, Tiffany’s work forming new TIDs, advocating for new and changing funding mechanisms across the country, and her work to rally communities at the state and local level has proved her to be a reliable resource and recognized industry advocate for destinations across the country.

With over 20 years’ experience, Civitas provides unparalleled expertise in forming, modifying, and renewing improvement districts, according to the company. They are one of the nation’s leading special district consultancies.

Their team of experts has guided over 100 districts through the formation, modification, or renewal process. Civitas has formed property- and business-based districts, city and county-wide districts, and tourism and marketing districts.