The Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau hopes to augment its coffers by enticing contributors with advertising incentives.
For a $100 fee, the CVB will include its "partners" in the Columbia County Visitors Guide and on its Web site as part of a program dubbed "Pay to Play."
"In this way, folks are sponsors, and we would work with them to highlight their businesses," CVB board Chairwoman Pat Goodwin wrote in an e-mail.
"We will not overlook a business (that) is not a Pay to Play partner. If a small-scale restaurant wants to be listed as an option and we have their correct info, we will include them. However, if they are a Pay to Play partner, we may make their listing to include more information to help market them ... on our Web site."
Coincidentally, a consultant the CVB hired to develop a strategic marketing plan advised against CVB membership programs during a public meeting held Tuesday.
Judy Randall of Randall Travel Marketing said such programs often don't contribute much to the bottom line and can become more of a hassle than a help.
CVB Executive Director Beda Johnson said the Pay to Play program isn't quite the same as a membership program.
"This is an opportunity for us to reach out to the community to ask for their co-op with us on advertising," Johnson said. "It's not a membership like the chamber (of commerce) does.
The money from the program will be used to pay for such publications as brochures and maps, Johnson said.
For more information on the Pay to Play program, call the Convention and Visitors Bureau at (706) 447-7677, or visit choose columbiacounty.com.
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