Visit St. Pete/Clearwater reports historic bed tax collections in June
LARGO —Another day and another tourism record is broken in Tampa Bay. This time it’s Visit St. Pete/Clearwater and the record number is the amount of bed tax dollars collected in June.
The local tourism group says the amount of money collected in June rose 94% from June of last year to $8.2 million. That’s the most ever collected in the month, according to an email sent out by the organization.
An argument can be made that we were in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in June 2020 and that the travel industry had come to virtual standstill, but when compared with June 2019 bed tax collections are up 46%.
This is the fourth consecutive month of astronomical growth for the county. According to data from the county tax collector’s office, bed tax collections rose 243% to $7.7 million in May, up from $2.2 million in 2020 and 43% higher than the $5.3 million collected in 2019.
Year-to-date, collections are up 43.8% over a year ago to $44 million and 9.89% higher than 2019.
The full impact of tourism’s bounce back can be seen at county hotels.
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater reports that the average daily rate at local hotels was 30.3% higher, $189.57, in June than in June 2019. And average occupancy for the month was 80.6%, including six days that saw more than 90% occupancy.
As for how red tide and the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus are going to impact travel to the area, officials say in the email that the numbers don’t reflect a cause for concern. “July 2021 numbers are pacing similarly to June with occupancy and ADR outpacing record-setting 2019 metrics.”