Those concerned with promoting tourism in St. Joseph County are taking steps to ensure that available money is being devoted in the right areas to attract overnight visitors.

The St. Joseph County Hotel-Motel Tax Board and Visit South Bend/Mishawaka have launched a study that will get underway in earnest Feb. 27 and will ultimately make recommendations on tourism spending over the next 10 years. 

CSL International, a firm that provides planning and advisory services for sports, venues, entertainment and tourism, will be paid $151,000 to conduct meetings with a wide range of about 140 community stakeholders and ultimately produce a plan this summer. 

Beyond the meetings with stakeholders, the entire community also will have the opportunity to share their tourism ideas via an online questionnaire that will be available in March, Visit South Bend/Mishawaka Executive Director Jeff Jarnecke said.

The Hotel-Motel Tax Board disburses about $9.6 million a year that is generated from the 8% tax that visitors pay when they’re spending a night in a hotel or a rental through Airbnb or Vrbo. 

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