The Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau reports that the city’s hotel occupancy rate is increasing.
CVB Director Katie Brenckle said data collected for a quarterly update for Dunwoody City Council shows that the amount of money collected from the city’s hotel tax is higher than expected.
At Dunwoody’s five hotels, occupancy is up 2 percent over 2010, with the revenue per available room up 3 percent.
“The demand has continued to rise this year and we are also seeing an increase in the average daily rate at the hotels, together increasing profitability,” Brenckle said in an email.
The numbers have left the CVB “cautiously optimistic about the future and the direction we are going.”
“We’re not sure yet what 2012 will hold, but we believe efforts we’re making as a bureau and positive changes in the hotels will allow us to continue to grow and generate revenue for the city,” Brenckle said.
Brenckle said the five hotels within Dunwoody’s city limits are important not only for the city’s tourism efforts, but for its budget.
Of the 5 percent tax levied on hotels, 2 percent goes to the CVB for marketing efforts and the remaining 3 percent goes into the city’s general budget. In 2010, just over $1 million from the hotel tax went into the city’s budget.
“That represents 5 percent of revenues in the general fund,” Brenckle said. “The city does have a vested interest in our efforts.”
In total, about $1.7 million in hotel tax was collected in 2010, with around $700,000 going to the CVB.
Dunwoody hotels receive the majority of their customers through businesses, Brenckle said.
“We’re a very strong corporate market and always have been due to the nature of the Perimeter Center area, with the many headquarters of Fortune 500 companies here, and several large businesses within Perimeter Center,” Brenckle said. “There are 100,000 people that commute into Perimeter Center daily. They are consistently bringing in meetings and employees that use our hotels.”
Brenckle said the convention and visitor’s bureau plans to center its marketing efforts on attracting more leisure travelers to Dunwoody.
She said the bureau will soon be using QR codes to market the city to potential visitors.
QR codes are square bar codes that can be read with smartphones.
“You just put a phone up to a QR code and it will take you to a website or video or coupons, whatever has been created for that code,” Brenckle said. “We’re very interested from a tourism perspective in using them to interact with potential clients and customers with what we have to offer.”
Brenckle said Dunwoody has seen success in attracting families to the city.
“Dunwoody and DeKalb County have long been popular destinations for family reunions. The families appreciate Dunwoody’s safety and affordability, while still providing a convenient location to Atlanta attractions, upscale hotel accommodations, and terrific shopping and dining,” Brenckle said.
Dunwoody Mayor Ken Wright said the news from the Convention and Visitors Bureau is encouraging.
“It’s positive momentum,” Wright said. “In many areas the economy is picking up at slow speed. We’re seeing results of hard work to attract people to Dunwoody pay off. The combination is good.”