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Business Observer Tuesday, Jun. 15, 2021 1 month ago

Tourism industry continues to show signs of a robust rebound

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Tampa and Hillsborough tourism group reports tax collections reach record level for May as holiday weekend occupancy rates jump nearly near 14%

TAMPA —Tourists are coming back in droves.

That’s the picture being painted in a report released Tuesday by Visit Tampa Bay. The tourism group announced tourist development tax collections topped the $4 million mark in May, the highest ever collected for that month.  

This as hotel occupancy for Memorial Day weekend was 80.6% in Hillsborough County, 13.5% higher than in 2019, according to the statement.

The numbers from Visit Tampa Bay, which markets Tampa and Hillsborough, underscores a statewide narrative, both from tourism groups and airports, that the number of visitors coming to Florida continues to climb after a COVID-19-marred 2020.

An example of that is the collection number Visit Tampa Bay released Tuesday. The $4 million that came in was 22% higher than in 2019.

And in Pinellas County, data from the tax collector’s office shows that bed tax collections rose to $8.7 million in April, up from $517,000 in 2020 and 29% higher than the $6.7 million collected in 2019. Year-to-date, collections are up 52.7% to $28.4 million.

But not all the news was good. Visit Tampa Bay reports that tourist development tax collections over the first eight months of the fiscal year are down 12.7% to $21.6 million when compared with the previous fiscal year, according to the statement.

Visit Tampa Bay’s fiscal year begins in October.

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