About Promote Iowa City

Promote Iowa City is a non-profit destination marketing fund focused on increasing tourism activities by providing a sustainable source of support for tourism marketing. We undertake new tourism marketing initiatives designed to be beneficial to the communities in Johnson County, Iowa.

We understand that the need to create on going sustainable sources of funding for tourism marketing is an issue of paramount importance.  It is not viable for various levels of government to fund tourism marketing to the financial degree that is necessary to have an impact at the regional or municipal level.

The funds raised through Promote Iowa City are used for numerous marketing activities which can include:

  • Regional Advertising Programs
  • Public Relations Endeavors
  • Charitable Grants
  • Media Relations
  • Sponsorships and Bid Fees
  • Regional Marketing Initiatives

Destination Marketing Funds are creating a new model for tourism marketing, one that sees industry operators, particularly accommodation providers, with far more input than has ever existed before. Promote Iowa City’s Board of Directors is comprised of local lodging owner/operators and local officials.

What is a


Q: What is a Destination Marketing Fund?

A: The Iowa City area recognizes the need to competitively market to bring travelers, groups, conferences, sporting events, and other activities to the area. Lodging properties voluntarily participate in the program and have an active voice in how marketing dollars are allocated.

Q: What is the Destination Marketing Fee?

A: Participating lodging properties will add an optional 1.5% fee to the room sales.

Q: How are funds used?

A: Fees are managed by Promote Iowa City Area, a private non-profit community organization for the purpose of advancing quality of life through the promotion of the Iowa City/Coralville area community as a destination for leisure travelers, meetings, conferences, sporting events, and special events.

Q: How is this different from other hotel/motel taxes?

A: State sales tax and occupancy tax are legislated by the state government. The DMF is a result of individual businesses volunteering to collect and contribute funds to a joint marketing program. The DMF is not a tax and the government is not involved in the approval or collection of DMF.

Q: Is the DMF voluntary?

A: The DMF is voluntary for both the hotel and the guest. The hotel voluntarily elects to participate in the DMF program. The guest has the right to request the DMF be waived at check out and the hotel must comply.