Charlotte CVB Sets Spending Limit for Wooing Meeting Planners

The board of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) — which oversees the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Charlotte Convention Center, as well as Visit Charlotte, the convention and visitors bureau for Charlotte, N.C. — has approved a set of new rules that limit spending on entertaining clients and prospects, including meeting planners, local newspaper the Charlotte Observer reported this month.

Aimed at CRVA executives, who have been accused in recent months of taking exorbitant bonus payments and purchasing extravagant thank-you gifts for local businesses and public officials, the new rules establish a $100 spending limit on gifts — for example, meals, as well as tickets to shows, sporting events and parties — for people who aren't clients, such as hospitality industry partners.

For clients — including meeting planners and members of convention groups — the spending limit is $150 per person, unless prior permission is given to spend more.

When entertaining "current and prospective clients ... [employees] are expected to do so in a prudent, cost-effective manner that secures business," reads the new policy, according to the Charlotte Observer.

New rules also limit gifts to CRVA staff, allies and other Charlotte tourism industry reps "in recognition of community or business achievements." For events such as a wedding or retirement, gifts may not exceed $50. For "professional/business/community achievements," gifts of up to $100 are allowed.