Tampa Bay tourism kicks off FY2016 with new record for October

November 5, 2015 by Kevin Wiatrowski

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TAMPA (Nov. 4, 2015) – After ending Fiscal Year 2015 with a record-high bed-tax collection, Visit Tampa Bay and Hillsborough County kicked off their 2016 tourism year with another record.

The county recorded more than $1.8 million in Tourist Development Tax revenue in October, based on hotel room sales in September. That figure is 13.2 percent higher than the $1.6 million posted the previous October, which was itself a new record for the month.

The Tourist Development Tax is a 5 percent levy on short-term accommodations. Proceeds help promote tourism and support major event venues, including Raymond James Stadium, Amalie Arena and the Tampa Convention Center.

Research by hotel industry analyst STR Inc. shows that in September, Hillsborough County hotels reported 64.4 percent occupancy, up 7.3 percent over the previous year, and $39 million in revenue -- up 11.6 percent over the same period last year.

Hotel profitability, measured as revenue per available room, was up 12.5 percent in September 2015 compared to September 2014.

Tampa Bay hosted 50 meetings in September that had a combined $7.8 million in economic impact on Hillsborough County. The largest, the 2015 Global Identity Summit, brought more than 1,500 people to downtown and filled nearly 4,000 room-nights, according to Visit Tampa Bay records.

Also in September, Tampa Bay welcomed Lufthansa German Airlines’ first nonstop flight from its hub in Frankfurt, Germany, on September 25.

“Tampa Bay has never been stronger as a travel destination,” said Santiago Corrada, president & CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, the private non-profit company that runs Hillsborough County’s tourism marketing efforts. “These revenue figures show that travelers from all over are discovering the treasures that make Tampa Bay one of the best big cities in the country.”

This summer, Money magazine named Tampa Bay the best big city in the Southeast and one of the top five cities in the U.S. to live. Over the past year, Tampa Bay has earned national and international accolades for everything from the quality of its craft beer to the customer experience at Tampa International Airport.

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About Visit Tampa Bay

Visit Tampa Bay encourages adventurous travelers to unlock our destination’s trove of unique treasures. We are a private, not-for-profit 501(c)6 corporation that works with more than 750 partners to tell the world the story of our home – the hip, urban heart of the Gulf Coast of Florida.