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> Tompkins County Tourism Program

Tompkins County Tourism Program: Promoting Economic Development, Enhancing Quality of Life


Survey for Small Lodging Establishments

Tompkins County is considering a proposal to increase the hotel room occupancy tax (aka room tax) for properties with 10 or fewer rooms from 3% to 5%. The county's room tax rate for hotels is 5% but was set at 3% for properties with 10 or fewer rooms in 2001 to encourage visitors to patronize bed and breakfast inns. Recent evidence shows that the market for small lodging properties has grown substantially over the past six years.

The room tax is used to fund both tourism marketing to the area as well as arts and culture organizations, outdoor recreation, community celebrations and more. The county is seeking input from people who own and operate small lodging establishments. Your survey response will provide valuable information to the county.

Click here to take the survey today.

Questions regarding the survey can be directed to Nick Helmholdt, the Tourism Program Director and Principal Planner, at The survey will close on September 30, 2020.

Strategic Tourism Plan Endorsed by County Legislature

The Tompkins County legislature unanimously voted to endorse the new Strategic Tourism Plan 2021-2027 on March 3, 2020. The new plan lays out eight overall goals for tourism development and describes additional goals in fifteen focus areas.  Tourism development represents a real opportunity for our county to enhance economic development and our quality of life.

This plan looks ahead to the future of travel and tourism in our region considering emerging topics that will potentially affect this sector. The plan also reflects new information gathered from the recent Visitor Profile Study and community engagement efforts.

About the Tourism Program
When visitors stay in hotels or bed and breakfasts in Tompkins County, they pay a hotel room occupancy tax. These funds are collected by County government from lodging operators and are re-invested in a variety of tourism initiatives that promote economic development and enhance local quality of life. All investments are aligned with the Tompkins County Strategic Tourism Plan.
Recommendations for grant funding are made by the Strategic Tourism Planning Board, an advisory board to the Tompkins County Legislature.