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Tampa Bay-Lakeland
Business Observer Friday, May 11, 2018 6 months ago

March surge sees region set bed-tax record

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Tampa Bay’s tourism development tax has topped $4 million.

TAMPA — Tampa Bay’s tourism industry set a new benchmark in March: achieving $4 million in tourist development tax — a 5% levy on room-nights in hotels and other short-term accommodations, also known as bed tax — revenue in a single month for the first time.

Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. Courtesy photo.

According to a press release, the surge is attributed to record-setting hotel revenues and occupancy in March 2018, which saw bed tax revenues rise by 12.4% over the same month in 2017. The numbers are part of a larger trend in which six of the past seven months have posted new records for bed-tax revenue, the release states.

“With three major festivals, large conventions every week, and fantastic weather all month, March is always our busiest time for visitors,” states Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, a destination marketing agency, in the release.

“This year, however, simply blew the doors off even our most successful months up to now. This achievement shows what with destination can do when we’re all pulling in the same direction and growing Hillsborough County’s reputation worldwide as a premier experience for adventurous travelers. And, of course, bed taxes reflect only part of the entire tourism-revenue picture.”

As of Dec. 31, 2017, visitors to Tampa and Hillsborough County generated more than $644 million in taxable hotel revenue and produced a record-setting $32.3 million in bed taxes, up more than 8% from 2016, according to the release.

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