TOURISM TALK: May Tourist Development Tax Collection Comes in Stronger Than Anticipated
By Peter Cranis, Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director // July 10, 2020
CRANIS: Tourism Office launched a $750,000 summer campaign in early June and that seems to be yielding dividends
ABOVE VIDEO: Space Coast Director of Tourism Peter Cranis sits down with Space Coast Daily’s Giles Malone to provide an update on upcoming events and activities in Brevard County.
May was boosted by the reopening of hotels and vacation rentals in time for the Memorial Day Weekend and by the return to human space flight
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Tourist Development Tax numbers are in for the month of May, and while down 36 percent from May 2019, they came in quite a bit stronger than anticipated.
Tax collections were $840,549 which is 38 percent below the original budget of $1.36 million, but far better than the revised projection that was done by the Space Coast Office of Tourism.
May was boosted by the reopening of hotels and vacation rentals in time for the Memorial Day Weekend and by the return to human space flight.
While it is never fun to talk about declines, this is a far cry better than our 76 percent decline in April. We are showing steady improvement as people get back to business.
Year to date, the TDT collections are trailing 2019 by 15.6 percent, having collected $9.1 million so far. We still have 4 months of collections this budget year so to only be behind by 15.6 percent is encouraging.
When COVID-19 hit, the Tourism Office was forced to reproject its 2019/2020 budget which runs from October – September of each year.
The original budget was $16.6 million which was building on an all-time high of $16 million in the 2018/19 budget year. The revised projection was a total collection of $10 million for the year.
Now that we have a few months under our belt with the ‘new normal’, I think we will do quite a bit better than the $10 million we had talked about in March and April.
I don’t want to jinx it, but there’s a good chance we will come close to $12 million which would be amazing.
The Tourism Office launched a $750,000 summer campaign in early June and that seems to be yielding dividends.
Every week in June got a little better in terms of occupancy (39.5 percent the week of 5/31, 41.5 percent the week of 6/7, 44.8 percent the week of 6/14, and 45.5 percent the week of 6/21) and average daily rate (ADR) ($99.49, $102.27, $107.39, and $107.59 respectively).
Then the numbers for the first week of July including July 4 have come in strong with a 45 percent occupancy and ADR of $112.
Slow steady improvement is a good thing right now.
“It’s going to be a tough climb to get back to our record 2019 summer numbers, so we will take those small improvements as a positive.”
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