The Tourism Development Program is made possible by Columbia’s lodging tax. It was created in 1999 to provide financial support to enhance and develop attractions, festivals and events. Eligible events must have the potential to attract visitors, generate overnight visitation in Columbia hotels and provide an overall economic impact.


All applications are reviewed and voted on by the CVB Advisory Board with final approval by the City Council.

The CVB Board meets the last Monday of each month. The City Council meet the first and third Mondays of each month.

The City of Columbia’s fiscal year begins October 1. The current funding cycle is for events occurring after October 1, 2020 and before September 30, 2021.

Guidelines and eligibility requirements are set forth in each application. There are currently five different categories:

Festivals & Events

Applications must be submitted to the CVB at least 120 days prior to the start of the festival or event.

Sports Development

Applications are reviewed first by the Columbia Sports Commission and then approved by the CVB Board and must be submitted at least 120 days prior to the start of the event.

Attraction Development Fund

Applications may be submitted at any time during the fiscal year but must be received at least 120 days prior to the start of the project.

Signature Series Events

Applications eligible for Signature Series must have been funded through Festival & Events or Sports Development for a minimum of three years.  The CVB Board votes to determine eligibility. Applications must be submitted to the CVB at least 120 days prior to the start of the event.

Community Sponsorship

Applications for community events, that do not meet the guidelines & criteria of the Festival & Events fund, may be eligible. Applications must be submitted with a detailed budget at least 30 days prior to the start of the event. The CVB Director determines eligibility and approval.