COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Collier County officials are considering an idea to spend millions on advertising to tourists, but there's a catch. They want to use tourist tax dollars already earmarked for beach facility improvements and museums, some of the very things that draw tourists.
Suzy Valentine with the Friends of Collier County Museum group tells WINK News they already operate on a shoestring budget. She's afraid this could hurt projects, including the restoration of the Naples Depot Museum.
Additionally, funds taken from beach projects could hold up any one of the 19 beach facility improvements currently waiting to be done.
The Tourism Development Council says the oil spill has caused them to need more advertising dollars, although the number of visitors to the area is up. However, they don't believe the impact has been enough for the county to have a legitimate claims against BP.
Another option to gain advertising money may be to increase the tourist tax. The TDC is not requesting any tax dollars from the beach re-nourishment fund at this time.
Any changes to tourist tax dollars would have to be approved by county commissioners.