Benton County Tourism and Recreation Corporation (BCTR)

Benton County Tourism and Recreation is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to increase visitation and awareness of the Benton County Area. Our goal is to harness the county’s great tourism potential and transform it into an engine for growth and development that contributes to the goal of a prosperous economic future.

By utilizing the transient guest tax combined with corporate support for this continued economic growth, we will develop an Annual County Tourism Plan. The Plan will focus on highlighting our natural assets as well as our heritage in order to provide a rewarding and memorable experience to all visitors.

BENTON COUNTY TOTAL EXPENDITURES IN 17 TOURISM-RELATED SIC CODES

FY20…………………………………….$18,626,626
FY19…………………………………….$18,246,504
FY18……………………………………. $17,944,722
FY17……………………………………. $16,726,973
FY16……………………………………. $16,445,767
FY15……………………………………. $15,667,307
FY14……………………………………. $14,538,217
FY13……………………………………. $13,965,436
FY12……………………………………. $14,590,267
FY11……………………………………. $13,998,457
FY10……………………………………. $13,789,041

Tourism spending is up 2% from 2019-2020.

TOURISM-RELATED EMPLOYMENT

2020 – 447
2019 – 432
2018 – 420
2017 – 406
2016 – 417
2015 – 402
2014 – 381
2013 – 385
2012 – 383
2011 – 377
2010 – 355

There was a 3.5% growth in tourism-related spending from 2019-2020.

Benton County Tourism Guest Tax History

(Gross receipts as received from Benton County Collector)

Annual

2020……………………………………$64,052**
2019……………………………………$58,743*
2018…………………………………….$56,414
2017…………………………………….$54,370
2016…………………………………….$49,646
2015…………………………………….$49,399
2014…………………………………….$43,555

There was a 9% growth in annual guest tax collection from 2019-2020.  (“Benton County Tourism and Recreation”)

We work in conjunction with the cities of Cole Camp, Lincoln and Warsaw, as well as the three Chambers of Commerce for each town to promote attractions, shopping, events and dining to tourists and future residents within our county.  We know that tourism plays a large role in the economic development of our county.

BCTR is able to continue to increase our marketing efforts due to the support of organizations, corporate contributions and individuals who believe in the promotion of tourism and economic development in Benton County.  We believe our marketing plan for 2021 is both comprehensive and effective and will reach a larger group of potential tourists.  We have also increased our marketing budget by 22% in FY2021 from FY2020.

Warsaw’s sales tax is up 8.21%, the county sales tax is up 6%, the city of Lincoln’s sales tax is up 3.6% and the City of Cole Camp’s sales tax is up 3.8% in 2020.  Even with the pandemic of COVID-19, this shows that marketing for our area is a contributor in the economic growth.

Tourism Development is the key to our economic future for the reasons listed above.

BCTR Lodging Tax Annual Budget – 2021

The following income and expense dollars reflected for the Fiscal Year 2021 (Jan 1, 2021-Dec 31, 2021) annual BCTR budget is submitted by the Executive Director of Tourism and approved by the BCTR Board of Directors (compromising of 10 directors – see attached list).

Benton County Tourism & Recreation has five sources of revenue.  Foremost, is the transient guest tax of 3% that lodging facilities collect from their guests and remit to the Benton County Collector of Revenue.  The Collector’s office retains .2% of the gross revenue as their collection fee.

We work with Benton County and the Cities within as tourism marketing partners and receive funding from Cole Camp, Lincoln, Warsaw, and the County to go towards budgeted marketing efforts.

The other sources of income are corporate sponsors, including local banks, Wal-mart, hospitals and other yearly contributors.

BENTON COUNTY TOURISM FISCAL YEAR 2021 BUDGETED INCOME 

Transient Lodging Tax…………………………….……….$65,000
Cities, Chambers and County Partners.….………. $52,650
Corporate Contributions………………………….……..…$8,500
State of Missouri Marketing / Misc Grants…..…..$15,500
Event Income (before expenses)………………….…..$28,204
TOTAL FISCAL YEAR 2020 BUDGETED INCOME $169,854

The Fiscal 2021 BCTR Annual Budget expenditures are divided into five major categories.  The budget is established annually by the BCTR Board of Directors, which is proposed by the Executive Director.

The major expenditures in marketing include major Missouri magazines and print publications, website and online presence, special events and festivals, marketing strategy including search engine optimization and search engine marketing, exhibiting at travel shows, billboards, collateral for shows, mailings to Missouri Welcome Centers, marketing videos and photography, county-wide event cards, radio advertising, a digital billboard in Sedalia, and memberships in tourism-related organizations for networking and promotional purposes.  Administration includes everyday responsibilities of insurance, contractor salary and D&O insurance, as well as phones, internet, mileage, checks and tax preparation.  The Executive Director is a contractor who pays her own insurance and taxes and does not receive paid vacation or sick days.

BCTR FISCAL YEAR 2021 BUDGETED EXPENSES 

Advertising/Events/Mktg……………………………………..$93,369
Administration………………………………………………..…..$55,242
Professional Memberships/Services…………………..……$650
Chambers Event Marketing (in lieu of grant)….……$20,140
General Reserve………………………………………………….…..$453
TOTAL FISCAL YEAR 2021 BUDGETED EXPENSES $169,854

Benton County Tourism & Recreation
PO Box 1245
Warsaw MO  65355
www.visitbentoncomo.com
Phone:  (660) 438-2090
Email:  lstokes@visitbentoncomo.com


2020 Benton County Tourism Income & Expenses
BENTON COUNTY TOURISM FISCAL YEAR 2020 INCOME

Transient Lodging Tax…………………………………….$65,665
Cities and County Partners……………………………. $37,041
Corporate Contributions…………………………………$15,351
State of Missouri Marketing Grants………………..$38,964
Event Income (before expenses)……………………….$2,430
Housing study grant………………………………………..$22,000
TOTAL FISCAL YEAR 2020 BUDGETED INCOME $181,451

BCTR FISCAL YEAR 2020 EXPENSES

Advertising/Events/Mktg…………………….……….……..$76,797
Administration…………………………………….……………..$51,870
Professional Memberships/Services…………….…………$765
BCTR Grant…………………………………………………………..$3,450
Housing study grant……………………………………..…….$11,000
Reserved for 2021…………………………………………………$5,798
General Reserve………………………………………………….$31,771
TOTAL FISCAL YEAR 2020 BUDGETED EXPENSES $181,451


2019 Benton County Tourism Income & Expenses
BENTON COUNTY TOURISM FISCAL YEAR 2019 INCOME

Transient Lodging Tax……………………………….…….$53,765
Cities and County Partners……………………….……. $35,518
Corporate Contributions………………………….………$10,937
State of Missouri Marketing Grants………….……..$  4,599
Event Income (before expenses)…………….……….$   5,871
TOTAL FISCAL YEAR 2019 BUDGETED INCOME $110,690

BCTR FISCAL YEAR 2019 EXPENSES

Advertising/Events/Mktg……………………………..……..$46,139
Administration………………………………………….………..$46,025
Professional Memberships/Services………….…………$1,295
BCTR Grant…………………………………………………………..$4,664
General Reserve………………………………………………….$12,567
TOTAL FISCAL YEAR 2019 BUDGETED EXPENSES $110,690


2018 Benton County Tourism Income & Expenses
BENTON COUNTY TOURISM FISCAL YEAR 2018 INCOME

Transient Lodging Tax………………………………………$55,308
Cities and County Partners……………………………….$27,200
Corporate Contributions………………………………..…$15,019
State of Missouri Marketing Grants………….………$   1009
Event Income (before expenses)………………….…..$   8,337
TOTAL FISCAL YEAR 2018 BUDGETED INCOME $106,873

BCTR FISCAL YEAR 2018 EXPENSES

Advertising/Events/Mktg……………………….……………$46,942
Administration……………………………………….…………..$40,426
Professional Memberships/Services…………………….…$522
BCTR Grant…………………………………………………………..$3,760
General Reserve………………………………………………….$15,223
TOTAL FISCAL YEAR 2018 BUDGETED EXPENSES $106,873

Benton County Tourism & Recreation Marketing Plan – 2021

Benton County Tourism and Recreation is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to increase visitation and awareness of the Benton County Area.  Our goal is to harness the county’s great tourism potential and transform it into an engine for growth and development that contributes to the goal of a prosperous economic future.

By utilizing the transient guest tax combined with corporate support for this continued economic growth, we will develop an Annual County Tourism Plan.  The Plan will focus on highlighting our natural assets as well as our heritage in order to provide a rewarding and memorable experience to all visitors.

We are excited to support continuing efforts to bring tourism to Benton County and share our 2021 marketing efforts:

Benton County Tourism and Recreation is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to increase visitation and awareness of the Benton County Area.  Our goal is to harness the county’s great tourism potential and transform it into an engine for growth and development that contributes to the goal of a prosperous economic future.

By utilizing the transient guest tax combined with corporate support for this continued economic growth, we develop an Annual County Marketing Plan.  The Plan will focus on highlighting our natural assets as well as our heritage in order to provide a rewarding and memorable experience to all visitors.

We are excited to support continuing efforts to bring tourism to Benton County and share our 2021 marketing efforts:

  • Increased social media marketing through Facebook Ads
  • Mailings to all Missouri Welcome Centers with Cole Camp, Warsaw and BCTR Brochures (March)
  • Group travel promotion including attending the Missouri Group Travel Exchange (May) – if in-person
  • Booths at the Missouri State Fair (August) and Wings Over Whiteman (June)
  • Advertising in the following publications:
    • Missouri Travel Guide 2021 half-page listing thru the Missouri Division of Tourism with 350,000 printed guides and distributed to potential tourists
    • Missouri Life Magazine has 35,000 paid subscriptions and online version
      • Outdoor and Media Package – Quarter 1
      • July issue
    • Rural Missouri Magazine had 350,000 free subscriptions
      • Spring and Fall issues
    • Show Me Missouri has 250,000 readers/3,000 group travel
      • Spring and Fall issues
    • Outdoor Guide Magazine has 1,000 paid subscriptions and includes newsstands
      • Spring and fall issues
    • St Louis Post Dispatch Summer Fun Guide
    • Roadrunner Magazine – motorcycle tourism – 232,500 readers/issue
      • Spring issue
    • Terrain Trail Sports Magazine – 32,000 readership/issue
      • Spring issue
    • BCTR sponsored events: Ozark Cigar Box Guitar Music Festival (August), Smokin’ in the Harbor KCBS Sanctioned BBQ Comp (August) and Pubs and Poker in Warsaw (March), Meet the Tourism Board (June), Warsaw Bicentennial celebration (Sept), Taste of Warsaw BBQ Festival (August), Benton County Art Walk (April)
    • Google AdWords Campaign with Madden Media
    • Website SEO to ensure keywords are readable by Google
  • Billboard on Hwy 65 to promote the Warsaw Downtown merchants (Warsaw partially funded)
  • Billboard in Clinton area to promote Benton County (Warsaw partially funded)
  • Billboard in Belton to promote Warsaw (Warsaw partially funded)
  • New and hip marketing video in 2021 (Fall)
  • Marketing collateral to distribute at shows and other events (bags, koozies, pens)
  • BCTR Local Promotional to advertise events for the three chambers – valued at over $20,000 to include radio ads on 3 stations and a digital billboard in Sedalia a week prior to the events
  • County-wide event rack cards
  • Memberships with the Missouri Assn of Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Whiteman Air Force Base Council and the Missouri Travel Council
  • Promotion of events and destinations through multiple website partners, including visitmo.com, Rural Missouri Magazine, Missouri Life, Trip Advisor and others
  • Promotion of barn quilt tours
  • Promotion of Butterfield Stagecoach experience and the Butterfield 60 race
  • Governor’s Conference on Tourism
  • Best of Benton County dining and shopping brochures updated and distributed
  • Ambassador Program to communicate local events and other information and encourage volunteerism during events
  • Monthly Newsletters to prospective tourists and monthly social media posts promoting events and other attractions/activities county-wide