JAMESTOWN, NY: – The Chautauqua Department of Planning and Development is encouraging applications for the 3% Tourism Product Development Grant Program 2022. Interested groups or organizations have until October 1, 2021 to apply.

Applications are online at https://bit.ly/CHQTourismGrants. Hard copies of the application are also available from the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development offices at 201 West Third Street, Suite 115, Jamestown, NY during normal business hours.

The subsidy program for tourism product development is financed by the 5% occupancy or “bed tax” of the district for renting residential units within the district. Three-fifths (3%) of the revenue from this tax is used to boost tourism, conventions, trade shows, special events, and other directly related or supportive activities, including business in the county. The two fifths (2%) of the occupancy tax are used exclusively to upgrade and protect lakes and streams in

Chautauqua county. Part of the occupancy tax of 3% is intended to provide grants for projects that achieve and / or support special initiatives for the development of tourism products and events.

Through this grant program, the county seeks to help catalyze opportunities that encourage or support the development of certain themes or significant events and attractions that improve the visitor experience and, ultimately, the number of visitors to the county.

“This program has been very successful in developing and improving our tourism and hospitality sectors here in Chautauqua County,” said Mark Geise, the county vice president for economic development. “After the COVID-19 pandemic, we look forward to supporting the next round of projects and helping our tourism destinations advance transformative and catalytic programs and initiatives to improve our tourism infrastructure and increase visitor numbers in our county.”

Programs and initiatives should help raise awareness of Chautauqua County as a travel destination and / or increase the likelihood of repeat visits to the area. A primary concern for the future of Chautauqua County’s tourism industry is developing and promoting products and experiences that will attract more visitors, especially for overnight stays and in the early and late summer seasons.

Grant funds are not intended for facility maintenance or long-term operating costs; they should be development-oriented.

“Chautauqua County already has incredible tourist attractions; However, we are constantly striving to develop and improve our offerings in order to encourage new and repeat visits, ”said PJ Wendel, District Manager of Chautauqua. “We encourage applications promoting new or improved attractions, unique events, and projects that support tourism aspects of the County Comprehensive Plan, County Greenways Plan, and the recently completed Strategic Economic Development Plan.”

Applications for the 3% Tourism Product Development Grant Program can be submitted by a variety of groups and organizations, including: non-profit organizations, governments, corporations / corporations, public or private schools, and all Chautauqua County landowners.

For more information, please contact Nate Aldrich at (716) 363-3672 or 72 aldrichn@chqgov.com.