Responsibilities of the Tourist Development Office
The Tourist Development office works with local tourism industry members to develop and market the amenities of Columbia County for increased tourism and positive economic impact. Focusing primarily on nature-based and heritage tourism, the County's efforts are directed by the Tourist Development Council. The local 3 % tax charged on transient rental accommodations and various advertising sales programs fund the tourism development program.
The Columbia County Tourist Development Council (TDC) is a 9-member advisory board appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to oversee and make recommendations regarding the uses of the Tourist Development Tax revenues. The TDC is comprised of three elected officials (Chairman of BOCC; Mayor of Lake City and one other County Commission) and six representatives of the hotel/motel and tourism industries. The Tourist Development Tax is a 3% tax on all overnight accommodations within the County with less than a 6-month lease. Tax revenues are reinvested into the local economy through the promotion of Columbia County as a tourism and meeting destination, as well as helping to provide tourism/sports facilities.
The Tourist Development council staff consists of the Executive Director Harvey Campbell, and two support staff. The TDC staff promotes the development of tourist attractions and special events to enhance Columbia County as a tourist and meeting destination and thereby generate hotel and motel room-nights and overnight stays in our campgrounds. The TDC staff provides information and data to local and national media on Columbia County attractions and events.
The Columbia County Tourist Development office also acts as the Film Commission for Columbia County.