Q: Will all property types be represented in the site?
A: The Great Smoky Mountains Lodging website will represent Bed & Breakfasts, Cabins, Condominiums and Campgrounds who are Sevier County lodging taxpayers.
Q: My company represents less than nine rental units that pay the lodging tax, can I enter a property more than once on the Property Database Form since there are nine spots?
A: If an individual or company has less than nine rental units that pay the lodging tax, they may only enter those units once and not duplicate them. The individual cabin owner will receive one cabin search.
Q: I am an owner who uses a VRBO page, do I need to have a separate landing page or can I list my VBRO page?
A: VBRO owners must have a separate landing page with a generic link to their VBRO page.
Q: Why do I need to have a “landing page” when I have cabins both in the city and in the county too?
A: A landing page is necessary to prevent companies that are predominantly located within a city from taking advantage of our program. For example, if a company has fifty properties in a city and one property outside the city limits and pays the 3% county lodging tax on that one property, if they list their website home page first, the consumer would be initially introduced to the fifty city properties that do not pay the tax. That would not be fair to the other businesses. Therefore, a landing page is our attempt to keep the playing field more level.
Q: With the goal of providing a level playing field for all companies large and small I have to question the merit of any paid advertising. It was mentioned that costs would remain small and bidding would not be part of the equation but I am of the opinion that paid advertising is a Pandora’s Box. Once the lid is off it will be viewed as an additional revenue center and those that can pay more will and along with greater payments comes pressure if not influence. The level playing field will be difficult if not impossible to maintain. It would be my recommendation that there be no paid advertising.
A: All lodging properties, large or small, who meet the minimum requirements, will receive several major free benefits that are not offered by any other site in the county. Our members are receiving free what would cost several thousand dollars on the respective city sites. Also, our members will get to place 9 rental units on a search system that is also free of charge. This is much more exposure than is even offered at any cost on the other sites. We will have a specific section on the website for “special offers” which will be a paid area, but there will not be paid advertisements all over the site.
Q: If a company operates under multiple dba’s will they be able to have listings under all companies or only the umbrella company?
A: DBA’s will be allowed on the site, but some restrictions will apply. More info to follow soon from the SCTC. (Sevier County Tourism Committee) Insert from county guidelines.
Q: Do attractions, dining establishments, etc. pay any kind of county tax that is helping fund this project? I realize we have to sell our customers on what there is to do in the area but if the lodging tax is the only revenue source for this site it somehow feels like the attractions & others are getting a free ride.
A: The funding for this marketing program at present is solely driven by the 3% lodging tax revenues paid by lodging properties only. It is imperative for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that the attractions, restaurants, etc be on the site, but they will only have a listing with no link and no logo unless they pay for advertising. They will not get a “free” ride other than a text listing.
Q: Who can I contact if I have more questions?
A: Please submit questions to our Contact Form by clicking here.