Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

O-town tourism

By awoodall
Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 at 4:56 pm in Night Owl, Redevelopment Agency.

I heard things a little differently about the future of how the Oakland Convention and Visitors Bureau will be managed, which is being discussed tonight at the Redevelopment Agency/Community and Economic Development Committee meeting at City Hall. I originally heard that a consortium of hotels, called the Oakland Tourism Business Improvement District, would take over the CVB. But item #3 on tonight’s agenda recommends that the consortium (OTBID), proposed by the Bureau, be city-run.  The CVB, however, is already city-run and that may be part the problem. Oakland doesn’t have the dough to promote tourism well in Oakland, which leads to less tourism. That brings in less money to attract more tourism. If the OTBID could charge a minute tax like in SF to support tourism efforts that might be a prettier picture. And the city would be off the hook for the cash.  I thought the meeting was tomorrow and meant to make some calls, but I just got sent to cover the kick-off party for the Model City Summit on Women (unfortunate grammar choice there) hosted by the Mayor & Mrs. Dellums at 5:45 at the AAMLO. I’ll check it out later.

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3 Responses to “O-town tourism”

  1. dto510 Says:

    Angela, you heard right the first time. The City is allowing the OCVB to move forward with creating a Tourism Business Improvement District, which must be approved by the City Council partly because a public agency will be responsible for collecting the assessment, like any other BID/CBD. The BID, if approved by the city and a majority of those assessed, would take over funding the OCVB from the city (roughly doubling the budget), and the OCVB would be accountable to the hotels paying the assessment.

  2. Arturo Espinoza Says:

    Is this article kidding us? Tourism in Oakland? Who will come? Does it count as tourism if a bunch of people from the Greater Bay Area show up for a meeting at a hotel? I mean, really, who will come to Oakland as a tourist? Even without SF next door. Who will come? Why?

  3. Angela Woodall Says:

    Yeah, I think convention traffic is part of what the proposal is aimed at increasing. Convention and corporate travelers are nothing to look down on, here or in San Francisco, and I think that business is a big part of the push. And you’re right about San Francisco’s tourism shadow effect. Out-of-town teams playing the Raiders, Warriors or A’s often stay in SF hotels instead of Oakland ones. So we have some work to do. Maybe with a little more effort tourists would cross the Bay, continue past Berkeley on to Oakland — if they had a reason to visit. Right now, however, there is only one tour book dedicated to Oakland alone. So travelers who can’t get rooms in SF or want something less expensive will stay in Oakland without much of a clue as to where to go, what to do and where to spend their MONEY. Maybe that can be changed. What do we have to lose? Anyway, I figured at least people would want to know what’s going on.

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