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Business Observer Wednesday, Apr. 10, 2019 4 months ago

Area continues run of record-breaking tourism revenues

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Visit Tampa Bay says February numbers rose by more than 11%.

TAMPA — Tourism revenue in Tampa and Hillsborough County shot up by 11% in February compared to the same month last year, according to tourism agency Visit Tampa Bay.

In a press release, the agency reports the Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s Office received more than $3.8 million in Tourist Development funds from overnight stays during February, breaking the previous record of $3.4 million set in 2018. Recreational events such as the Gasparilla Distance Classic and Gasparilla Volleyball Classic brought droves of visitors to the area, as did professional gatherings such as the Florida Board of Bar Examiners meeting.

“Tampa Bay continues to build year after year on its growing global reputation as Florida’s Most diverse, dynami, and desirable vacation destination,” states Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, in the release. “Our overwhelming options for dining, our position as Florida’s hub for craft brewing, our fantastic collection of family-friendly attractions and our arts and cultural venues make us a natural choice for visitors looking for the full Sunshine State experience in a single destination.”

Hotel occupancy for the month averaged 85.8%, up 3.6% from the previous year, the release states. Revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key indicator of hotel profitability, was up 5.4%. Total hotel revenues for the month reached $76.4 million — 41% higher than the $54.2 million average for the past decade.

“Tampa Bay is still achieving unprecedented levels of tourism while our hotel supply remains largely unchanged from five years ago,” Corrada states in the release. “With more than 2,000 new hotel rooms on the horizon and about 1,000 more undergoing renovation and rebranding, we can expect strong growth into the future.”

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