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Tampa Bay Tourism Smashes Record for February

April 9, 2019 by PR@VisitTampaBay.com

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More than 11 percent growth lifts month to nearly $4 million in revenues

TAMPA (April 9, 2019) – Tourism revenues for the month of February reached a historic high this year, eclipsing last year’s record number by more than 11 percent, Visit Tampa Bay is reporting.

According to the Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s Office, the county received more than $3.8 million in Tourist Development funds from overnight stays during February. The previous record, set in 2018, was $3.4 million. Historically, February is the second-highest month for tourism-related revenue after March.

Total hotel revenues for the month reached $76.4 million, more than 41 percent over the $54.2 million average for the last decade.

“Tampa Bay continues to build year after year on its growing global reputation as Florida’s Most diverse, dynamic, and desirable vacation destination,” said Santiago C. Corrada, President and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. “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.”

In addition to thousands of vacationers escaping the cold up north, February brought thousands more visitors to Tampa Bay for the annual Gasparilla Distance Classic, the Gasparilla Volleyball Classic, and the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, among others.

Hotel occupancy for the month averaged 85.8 percent, up 3.6 percent from the previous year. Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR), a key indicator of hotel profitability, was up 5.4 percent. Overall hotel revenues exceeded $80.6 million for the month.

“Tampa Bay is still achieving unprecedented levels of tourism while our hotel supply remains largely unchanged from five years ago,” Corrrada said. “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.”

The strength of Hillsborough County’s tourism helped the county become Florida’s ninth High Impact Tourism county in 2018 after Tourism Development funds exceeded $644.2 million in Calendar Year 2017. That achievement has opened the way for the Board of County Commissioners to consider raising the Tourism Development levy to 6 percent, which could generate an additional $7 million to support the county’s tourism efforts, including major venues such as Tampa Convention Center, Amalie Arena, and Raymond James Stadium.

“Hotel revenue is just part of the picture,” Corrada said. “For every one of those room-nights, visitors spent money dining in our restaurants, shopping in our stores, enjoying our attractions, and hiring local transportation. They also paid sales taxes that fund local education and transportation projects. Altogether, that added up to nearly 50,000 jobs and $6 billion added to the local bottom line. The impact of a single visitor ripples out to every corner of our community.”

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About Visit Tampa Bay

The hip, urban heart of Florida’s Gulf coast beats in Tampa Bay. Visit Tampa Bay encourages adventurous travelers to unlock sun, fun and culture in Florida’s most diverse travel destination. We are a not-for-profit corporation that works with 800 partners to tell the world the story of Tampa Bay. Treasure awaits.