Collections up 27 percent year over year
TAMPA (Dec. 10, 2014) – Hillsborough County recorded more than $1.9 million in hotel bed taxes in November, setting a new record for the month.
“These are amazing numbers,” said Santiago Corrada, president & CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, the county-funded organization charged with promoting tourism in Tampa and Hillsborough County. “This fall has been a busy time for Tampa Bay’s hotels and attractions. These tax numbers are a reminder of just how much tourism contributes to our economy here in Tampa and Hillsborough County.”
November’s bed-tax total reflects taxes collected on short-term stays in October, when hotel occupancy across the county averaged 68.3 percent. Occupancy in October grew 11.2 percent year-over-year, outpacing the 10 destinations Tampa Bay competes with for both convention business and leisure travelers. Tampa Bay’s competitive set includes Orlando and Fort Lauderdale; Austin, Fort Worth and San Antonio in Texas; Charlotte, N.C., Nashville, Tenn.; Baltimore, Md.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Long Beach, Calif.
November bed taxes came in 27 percent higher than the same month in 2013. They were 15 percent higher than 2007, the previous record year. October’s bed taxes (collected in September) of $1.6 million also made a new high-water mark for collections that month.
Two months in the 2015 fiscal year, bed taxes are at $3.5 million, about 17 percent ahead of last year. They come on the heels of FY 2014’s record-setting bed-tax total of $23.7 million.
As Visit Tampa Bay’s new fiscal year began Oct. 1, Corrada announced a company goal of generating $30 million in bed taxes within the next three years.
The “30 in 3” campaign aims to boost Hillsborough County into the ranks of high-impact tourism counties by 2018. Hitting that mark gives county commissioners the option of raising the bed tax from 5 percent to 6 percent.
ABOUT VISIT TAMPA BAY
Visit Tampa Bay leads the effort of economic development through tourism. The mission of Visit Tampa Bay is to create vibrant economic growth for the Tampa Bay area by selling and promoting the Tampa Bay destination. The independent not-for-profit organization represents more than 700 businesses throughout the area and works to ignite interest for Visiting Tampa Bay.