Here’s the info from the Buncombe County TDA:

The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority has kicked off its 2016 Tourism Product Development Fund grant cycle. Tourism product funding is generated by one and a half percent occupancy tax on paid lodging in Buncombe County. Proceeds are earmarked for capital projects that demonstrate a significant increase in new and incremental lodging stays.

Applications are due on Wednesday, June 1, 2016; and grants will be announced Wednesday, October 26, 2016. The complete timeline and application materials can be found at http://www.AshevilleCVB.com/TPDF2016.

As guided by legislation, tourism projects must demonstrate that they can generate substantial new and incremental room nights, and, therefore, increase the economic impact on the community, to be considered for a grant, loan guarantee or debt service.

Since the fund’s inception in 2001, $23 million has been awarded to 27 community projects.

The enabling legislation mandates that a TPDF Committee review all applications and make funding recommendations to the BCTDA for final approval. The TPDF committee thoroughly reviews the applications, conducts interviews during project presentations, and makes site visits as needed.

Visitors who stay in paid lodging in Buncombe County pay a 6 percent occupancy tax in addition to the 7 percent sales tax for a total tax of 13 percent on paid accommodations in Buncombe County. Each year, Buncombe County welcomes 3.3 million overnight guests, providing a customer base that assists in the sustainability of businesses in the community and contributes to tax revenues. Annually, tourism generates a $2.6 billion economic impact to the region, supporting more than 24,000 jobs.

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