The Visit Baton Rouge board of directors on Thursday unanimously passed a $5.4 million budget for 2019, a 3.15% increase over this year’s budget.
The city-parish tourism promotion agency plans to spend approximately $5.93 million in 2019, up 1.4% from the $5.32 million spent this year. Plans call for spending $2.8 million on promotions, $1.9 million on personnel and $632,502 on administrative costs.
Visit Baton Rouge is funded through a share of the local hotel occupancy tax, projected to generate $5,4 million next year. Agency revenues from the occupancy tax were more than $539,000 in October, according to budget documents, the highest monthly haul this year.
VBR President and CEO Paul Arrigo will not receive a pay raise next year, with him telling the board that’s appropriate given it was a “flat year.” Arrigo’s base salary is $171,000 and he is eligible to receive an additional 10% of his salary—or $17,000—in incentive pay.