Hillsborough’s July bed tax report up 44% over same month in 2014

October 7, 2015 by Kevin Wiatrowski

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Hillsborough’s July bed tax report up 44% over same month in 2014

County tourism revenue near FY2014 record after nine months

TAMPA (Aug. 11, 2015) – Hillsborough County reported more than $2 million in Tourist Development Taxes for July, an increase of 44 percent over the same month last year and more than 22 percent higher than the previous record of July set in 2012.

July’s total – collected on hotel room-nights sold in June – brings the county’s total bed-tax revenue for the current fiscal year to just over $23 million. The county recorded $23.7 million for all of Fiscal Year 2014, which ended Sept. 30, 2014. The Tourist Development Tax is a 5-percent tax levied on short-term accommodations.

“Hillsborough County continues to perform at the top of its game as a tourism destination,” said Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County’s tourism promoter. “With new restaurants, new attractions, new hotels and – starting September 25 – new international flights from Germany, the entire Tampa Bay region is truly hitting its stride as a must-see destination.”

During June, Hillsborough County hosted several large events, including:

  • The Church of God in Christ’s Auxiliaries in Ministry (8,500 room-nights, $4 million in economic impact);
  • Metrocon 2015 annual convention (1,600 room-nights, $1 million economic impact);
  • Avid Center Tampa Summer Institute (2,950 room-nights, $1.6 million economic impact).

The new bed-tax numbers reflect higher room rates and higher profitability among Hillsborough County’s hotel industry. In June, the county led its 10 national competitors in growth of revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key indicator of hotel profitability.

Rising demand for hotel rooms is helping to push up both occupancy and rates. Hillsborough County has been near the top of both measures all year compared to its competitors, including Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, and Charlotte, N.C., according to STR Inc. (formerly Smith Travel Research), an industry analyst.

The Tampa Bay region’s growth as a tourism destination will be on display later this month when the leaders of the state’s largest industry gather at the Tampa Convention Center Aug. 31-Sept. 2 for the Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism. This is the first time in the event’s 48-year history that it has been held in Tampa Bay.

Another first will happen in late January, when Hillsborough County hosts Florida Huddle, the state’s largest travel industry trade show. Florida Huddle is operated by Visit Florida, the state’s chief tourism agency.

“It’s an honor to host both of these major events within a few months of each other,” Corrada said. “They show that Hillsborough County and the greater Tampa Bay region are making a name for ourselves within Florida’s diverse tourism community.”



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