The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, through the Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF), has awarded $15 million to sixteen community tourism projects since 2001 when the occupancy tax rate in Buncombe County was increased from three cents to four cents. The additional cent generates approximately $1.8 million of room tax revenue per year, of which 100 percent is dedicated to the TPDF. The purpose of the TPDF is to provide financial assistance for major tourism projects in order to substantially increase patronage of lodging facilities in Buncombe County.
Funding Process & Criteria
TPDF funds can be awarded to for-profit and non-profit entities as a grant, pledge of debt service or loan guaranty. The legislation establishing the TPDF states that the funds are to be used for tourism capital projects, such as construction costs for a new tourism project. The legislation also states that to be a qualified project, it must demonstrate that it will generate new and incremental room nights in Buncombe County.
The TPDF Committee, a nine-person review committee, reviews all funding applications. Each project must pass a two-stage approval process prior to receiving TPDF funding. First, the TPDF Committee thoroughly reviews all applications and interviews applicants who make it to the second phase of the process. The committee then makes funding recommendations to the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA). Final grant awards are approved by the BCTDA.
For more information on the TPDF visit AshevilleCVB.com.