Ocean City Council Approves Entertainment Policy for Tourism Workers | news

Employees who treat customers to wine and food to promote Ocean City as a tourist destination now have an official expense report and solid guidelines for doing their snuggles.

At a Tuesday working session, city council members unanimously approved an entertainment policy for select officials to pay for meals and other tourism-related incidentals. City Manager Terry McGean said the vote was essentially a formality as the city has no politics and the effort is becoming more necessary as the emphasis on promotions and conventions increases.

“As we’ve expanded our sales force at the convention center, both for the convention center itself, for special events, and for sports marketing, they have to take potential customers out to dinner…that happens a lot,” McGean said. “We didn’t really have a formal policy on how to deal with it. What this policy does is allow for that.”

The allowances apply to select employees – the director of tourism and business development, the director of the convention center, the sales manager, the special events director, the sports sales manager and the convention sales manager.

“It’s just these people who, because of their specific job role, should be selling the city,” McGean said.

The policy establishes policies that conform to IRS regulations for business expenses and requires required documentation for expenses. It designates certain expenses as “reasonable” such as B. Food, tips, beverages and transportation charges. Alcoholic beverages are permitted as long as their cost is included in the policy amount per person, which is three times the state daily rate. In Ocean City, the federal rate is $31 per person per day. The policy sets the rate at $93.

According to the employee report, the estimated cost for employees to claim the policy is $7,500 per year. The total is included in the tourism budget for fiscal year 2023.

“This is essentially to formalize a way for our sales people to really get their jobs done,” McGean said of the policy ahead of the council’s unanimous vote.

This story appears in the September 2, 2022 print edition of OC Today.

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