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Business Observer Thursday, May 9, 2019 2 weeks ago

County sets record for tourism tax revenue

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Hillsborough collected $4.3 million, 5.6% more than March 2018.

TAMPA — Hillsborough County collected $4.3 million in Tourist Development funds, also known as bed taxes, in March, an increase of 5.9% over March 2018.

According to a press release issued by Visit Tampa Bay, a destination marketing agency, the achievement sets a new all-time record for the month of March and marks the first time the county has raised more than $4 million in bed tax revenue.

“These results are absolutely amazing,” states Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, in the release. “They are a perfect example of the power tourism has to build and foster our local economy. With several major festivals and key conventions, March has always been our strongest month for visitors. But this year’s numbers show the incredible strength and dynamism of our destination.”

Hotel occupancy for the month averaged 87.5%, according to the release, while revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key indicator of hotel profitability, was up 2.6% to $132.69. Overall hotel revenues exceeded $93.8 million for the month, more than 5% above March 2018, the release adds. 

“Hotel revenue is just part of the picture,” Corrada states in the release. “Each visitor also spends money in our restaurants, in our stores and at our attractions. Their contribution to our sales taxes help fund education and transportation. That adds up to nearly 50,000 jobs and $6 billion added to the local bottom line. The impact of a single visitor ripples out to every corner of our community.”

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