By ERIC X. VICCARO
The Ste. Genevieve Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) learned all about the budget for Fiscal Year 2022 during a regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 17.
This marked the first time the group had met since May 18 – mainly because of the departure of former tourism director Toby Carrig.
A quorum couldn’t be reached for the Tourism Tax Commission; however there were some members from that board present.
Both tourism-releated entities learned the FY 2022 budget, from the enterprise/dedicated funds will be $18,400 – with $10,000 proposed for either a new or redesigned website.
The official website for city of Ste. Genevieve tourism, visitstegen.com, has been in need of a massive overhaul, with talks dating back to last year regarding possible changes.
“We have been trying to figure out a way to improve the website,” said Ste. Genevieve city administrator Happy Welch in a telephone interview with the Herald on Friday.
During the interview process with prospective candidates for the tourism director position, only Jeff Wix said the current site doesn’t create a “call to action.”
Wix will begin his role as tourism director on Tuesday, Sept. 7, the day after Labor Day.
There are several “call to action” ways the website can be improved – including making reservations for local hotels, airbnb’s and restaurants, setting appointments for house tours and buying tickets to facilities such as River Rapids Waterpark.
The tourism budget will include $2,500 for rack cards, $1,000 for an updated visitor’s guide and $900 for radio – set aside for promoting the annual Christmas festival.
The budget also contains proposals for $2,000 in funding for other festivals, including the Jour de Fete and Rural Heritage Days.
Also, $2,000 in funding is proposed for both magazine and print advertising,
TOURISM MARKETING PLAN
Welch made a presentation before the board of aldermen during last Thursday’s regularly scheduled meeting, covering additional details.
“We have begun developing our advertising campaign for fall using grant funds from the Missouri Division of Tourism and the city’s matching funds that are planned for the next budget,” Welch said in his tourism report.
The state has allocated $70,000, with the city of Ste. Genevieve providing a match of $23,333 – for a grand total of $93,333.