Sacramento, CACivitas Advisors of Sacramento and SMG Consulting of South Lake Tahoe have released their highly anticipated first ever national study on Tourism Improvement Districts (TIDs).

Tourism Improvement Districts are an increasingly popular financing mechanism for destination marketing. Originating in California in 1989, the phenomenon has now spread across the country. Civitas and SMG Consulting have collaborated to provide this first ever comprehensive report on the state of the industry.

The Tourism Improvement District revolution began in West Hollywood, California, in 1989. The concept spread slowly at first, but picked up momentum in California the late 1990s and exploded in the mid-2000s.

TIDs throughout the US were surveyed regarding the formation process, funding levels before and after, challenges, and measurable results.

Key findings include the following:

  • Survey respondents indicated the primary reason for TID formation was insufficient existing tourism funding, with a complete lack of tourism funding close behind (39% and 23%, respectively).
  • Fully 94% of those surveyed indicated TID funds increased the destination’s tourism promotion efforts.
    • Fifty three percent indicate that both domestic and international tourism promotion efforts have increased since the district’s formation.
  • Overall, 97% of those surveyed indicated their destination became more competitive with the additional TID funds.

“This study represents the most comprehensive source of TID information gathered to date. It provides insight and actionable information for those that currently have a TID, and valuable guidance for those looking to form or renew a TID.” stated John Lambeth, President of Civitas.

“There is no question TID funding has changed the competitive balance in tourism promotion. The study results look at the strategic implications of this changed played field,” noted Carl Ribaudo, President of SMG Consulting.

The complete study can be downloaded on SMG’s research page. Further information on TIDs can be found at