Brevard Tourism Director Peter Cranis: Tourist Development Tax Collections Improve in June
By Space Coast Daily // August 7, 2020
Tax Collections up almost 22 percent over May
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – June Tourist Development Tax collections are in and ended up breaking $1 million for the first time since March and were up almost 22 percent over May and 32 percent down from June of last year.
Year to date, it is tracking about 20 percent down from budget and 18 percent down from last year, a loss in excess of $3 million.
“We have to be somewhat pleased with this result in our ‘new normal,’” said Peter Cranis, Executive Director of the Space Coast Office of Tourism.
“June was the first month that both hotels and vacation rentals were open for the entire month, so we expected to do better than May, but you are never sure until the final tax numbers come in.”
Also interesting to note were some changes being seen by category, with more revenue coming in through Management Companies, 16 percent vs 13 percent last year – these are the Airbnb’s and VRBO/HomeandAway’s.
This is not too surprising since the tax collector now has a contract with VRBO/HomeandAway and is collecting that revenue which started in February 2020.
Also, a slight shift can be seen in cities with Cocoa Beach down to 24.7 percent from 27.5 percent.
Most other cities are tracking close to the prior year. West Melbourne, Melbourne, Viera and Palm Bay are now being broken out, but you can add those together to compare to the prior year.
Also, the Tourism Office is receiving weekly STR report tracking.
“We just started getting this in May and are able to watch the numbers on a weekly basis,” said Cranis.
June had a steady growth in Occupancy each week while July has been up and down – but overall, better than June with 2 weeks reaching 48 percent (last week’s Mars Rover launch helped).
“Overall, we are feeling good about our marketing campaign and being able to extend that into August and September should help as well,” Cranis said.
“We know that those two months are typically lower than July so it will be interesting to see how they fare in this “new normal” and where we end up in July (I’m projecting over $1 million again). I’m now confident we will exceed the last budget projection of $11.5 million and most likely will top $12 million.”
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