VISIT OXFORD REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: Economic Impact Study and Monitoring ARPA

Proposals due on or before 5:00 p.m. CST on March 7, 2024

Web link: file:///C:/Users/cbettencourt/Downloads/Updated_Economic-Impact-Study-and-Monitoring_-RFP.pdf


Oxford Tourism Council is issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to seek formal quotes from destination research experts to develop an economic impact study lookback from 2019 to current. This study will assess the effects of COVID-19 from the onset of the pandemic to present on the tourism industry and the recovery of tourism in Oxford,

MS. Visit Oxford also desires an interactive dashboard for economic data and travel indicators for Oxford,

MS. This dashboard should include digital marketing campaign monitoring analysis and engagement tracking to our destination including visitor spending. The dashboard should show current metrics that will provide a roadmap to

Visit Oxford in how to maintain and enhance its positioning relative to competitive destination markets, as well as to identify growth markets for leisure travelers, as well as group meetings, conventions and sports travelers.

Although it is Visit Oxford’s intent to contract with the person/company that best meets the qualifications to complete the scope of work, Visit Oxford may terminate the negotiations if they are unsuccessful in reaching an agreement on all matters including the scope of work and cost.

Visit Oxford intends to contract with a qualified research firm to support its continued recovery efforts, stemmed from the negative economic impacts of COVID-19. This contract will be funded through federal ARPA dollars for Mississippi Tourism Recovery, II.

This RFP in no way commits Visit Oxford to award a contract, to pay any costs in preparation of a proposal, or to contract for the goods and/or services offered. Although it is Visit Oxford’s intent to contract with the person/company that best meets the qualifications to complete the scope of work, Visit Oxford may terminate the negotiations if they are unsuccessful in reaching an agreement on all matters including the scope of work and cost.


Visit Oxford wishes to employ an outside firm to execute research with a lookback to 2019 through present culminating in a full tourism economic impact study, as well as a 3-5-year interactive tourism data dashboard. The scope of services listed below is not intended to be a comprehensive list of what the firm will provide. The final scope of services will be developed in collaboration with the selected firm.

The selected firm’s responsibilities will include the following:

• Research with a look back to all years since 2019 to present

• Through research identify and assess gaps in the area’s tourism infrastructure which, if filled, would

position Oxford as a competitive, top-tier leisure, meeting and sports destination market

• Indicate the number of visitors to Oxford and spending habits of visitors to Oxford

• Reveal key performance indicators to measure and track goal achievement

• Show data on current attractions, events or assets to drive demand, as well as opportunities for growth

• Identify how tourism impacts the workforce and drives population growth

In order to achieve these responsibilities, the selected firm will:

• Develop an interactive dashboard that integrates economic data and travel indicators for Oxford

• The interactive dashboard will integrate digital marketing campaign analytics and engagement tracking to the destination including visitors spending.

• Provide data since 2019 on visitors that include leisure, group meetings, conventions and sports travelers

• Identify target markets, services areas and organizational strategies to enhance Oxford’s tourism industry

• Research various destinations that Visit Oxford can compare and benchmark itself against


• A comprehensive written economic impact report presented to Visit Oxford and the Oxford Tourism

Council upon completion of the project

• An interactive dashboard that Visit Oxford team members can access integrating all tourism economics

services and digital media campaign analytics which allow Visit Oxford to gauge the effectiveness and

adequacy of the current destination marketing program and recommended strategies to improve these

initiatives. Particular emphasis should be provided on how Visit Oxford can enhance these efforts to

ensure the overall increased visitation goal is met. This assessment should include recommended

operating guidelines for the programs to achieve the desired development results.


Visit Oxford is a research-driven destination management and marketing organization with annual collections of approximately $1M, derived from the collection of a 2% lodging tax on the gross proceeds from hotel overnight room rental, as well as a portion of a 2% food and beverage tax on the gross proceeds of prepared food and beverage within the city of Oxford.

Visit Oxford’s mission is to bring visitors to Oxford for the economic impact on the community. Touted as the “Cultural Mecca of the South,” creativity abounds in Oxford as musicians, artists and writers alike find inspiration in its rich history, small town charm and creative community. Over the years, Oxford has become known for offering exceptional culinary experiences, as well as for being home of the University of Mississippi and was recently dubbed as “America’s Best College Town.”



Oxford is geographically located in the northern part of Mississippi. Its population is approximately 28,000, which swells to nearly 50,000 when the University of Mississippi is in full session. Annual visitor spending for FY21 was $172.6 million, generating $16.2 million in state and local taxes and supported 2000 jobs, nearly 8% of Oxford’s employment base.

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