The Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors recently formed a memorandum of understanding with the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce to partner together to increase tourism development in Liberty County.
“This partnership will save both parties money on things like salaries, office supplies, office equipment, rent, etc., and will really enable the convention and visitors bureau and the chamber to run even more effectively,” said Sandra Martin, board chairwoman of the convention and visitors bureau.
The partnership is a formal agreement that will not dissolve either entity as it currently exists, meaning that each entity will maintain its own finances with separate accounting systems and that neither party would be liable for debts or obligations of the other.
“The board feels that this is really a step in the right direction,” Martin said.
The Tourism Product Resource Team that visited in February also identified in its 104-page report presented to the community in March the fact that the chamber and the CVB often are partners in other communities and that the “Liberty County chamber can be the hero in launching and supporting the Hinesville/Liberty County Convention & Visitors Bureau.”
The team further explained that by working together, both organizations have economic impact as a common goal and that in order to have an effective tourism program in any community, the chamber staff and members must be “committed and supportive.”
According to figures compiled by the team for 2009, the most current data available, tourism in Liberty County has generated 570 jobs, produced $11.72 million in payroll, created $2.97 million in state tax revenue and generated $2.59 million in local tax revenue.
“We are very excited about this opportunity and feel that the mission and vision of the chamber are similar to that of the CVB, which is to see our local businesses, trade and industry do well, while increasing the cultural, civic, educational and overall quality of life of its citizens,” chamber board Chairman Kevin Thomas said. “The chamber and its 500-plus members are committed to enhancing the local business climate and maintaining a high quality of life in the community.”
The joint organization will maintain offices as they currently exist inside the LCDA, and the only significant change immediately noticeable will be the addition of a staff person to act as the program assistant for the convention and visitors bureau.