ARLINGTON, Va. - The Arlington Chamber of Commerce celebrates the General Assembly's establishment of permanent funding for tourism promotion in Arlington. This 0.25 percent Transient Occupancy Tax surcharge on hotel rooms is used exclusively by Arlington Convention and Visitors Service, a division of
Arlington Economic Development
, to grow travel and tourism in Arlington. Previously, the tax surcharge was enacted with a July 1, 2021 sunset.
introduced by Senator Janet Howell, and
introduced by Delegate Patrick Hope, eliminate the sunset provision.
The Chamber has been a longstanding advocate of using the Transient Occupancy Tax surcharge to fund tourism promotion. The Chamber asked the General Assembly to authorize the surcharge 30 years ago, leading to it being in effect from 1990 to 2011. The Chamber and Arlington's hospitality industry supported the surcharge's reinstatement in 2016 and extension in 2018. Enactment of HB 62 and SB 107 ends the need for Arlington to renew the TOT surcharge every several years, allowing for better long-term planning of tourism promotion activities.
"These bills ensure that Arlington Convention and Visitors Service can continue their terrific work of promoting Arlington as a destination, driving visitors to our hotels and other local businesses," said Chamber President & CEO
Kate Bates. "Hospitality is a key part of our economy, generating nearly $3.4 billion of commerce in Arlington that extends beyond hotels to local restaurants, retailers, and other businesses that serve visitors to Arlington."
The Arlington Convention and Visitors Service team works collaboratively with the Chamber and hoteliers to market Arlington as a tourism and business travel destination. Arlington County and the Chamber have a strong partnership with a signed Letter of Agreement that guarantees hospitality industry input into the use of the TOT surcharge funds.
"The hospitality industry has a strong, collaborative marketing relationship with Arlington County driven by a real sense of common goals," said
Holiday Inn Rosslyn General Manager and Chair of the Chamber's Hotel General Managers Committee
Chris Raines. "We look forward to working with the County to plan long-term, without the uncertainty that the sunset created."
The Chamber sent letters to both the
to advocate for the bills and
testified at a meeting of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee. The House passed HB 62 by a vote of 76-22 and SB 107 by a 78-22 vote. The Senate passed SB 107 by a vote of 31-9 and HB 62 by a 34-6 vote.