Lodging taxes in DeKalb County are a huge influence on the tourism industry

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. - As people travel over the summer, many occupy a hotel, a cabin or even a campground. Each time a lodging tax is added.

"And that lodging tax that is added was intended and is used to promote tourism in those destinations," says John Dersham, director of tourism in DeKalb.

That money goes straight to the tourism department to attract even more people through outside advertisement.

"So we can run radio, tv, magazine ads, website ads, Facebook and social media ads to have more people to come and visit and spend the night," says Dersham.

So it's critical to growing the numbers.

"1,300 people work in DeKalb County making their livings in all or a part of tourism. 82 million dollars were spent last year by people visiting DeKalb County. For that to be 82 million dollars, they have to have spent the night."

So the overall goal of the lodging tax is to keep the growth up.

"Perpetual growth. And in order to continue that it's so vital to our economy in DeKalb and all of the communities in DeKalb that we want to keep growing," says Dersham.