TOURISM TALK: March Was Third-Highest Month in Tourism Tax Collection History in Brevard County
By Peter Cranis, TDO Executive Director // May 7, 2021
PETER CRANIS: Tourist Development Tax collections came in at $1.93 million for March
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – What a March! Tourist Development Tax collections have come in at $1.93 million for the month which is very close to the $1.97 million in March of 2018 and not too far off of the $2.1 million in March of 2019 which was our highest month ever.
In fact, this March is the third-highest month in the history of TDT collection in Brevard County.
This represents $38.6 million in lodging revenue, and year to date, we are tracking 30 percent ahead of the $11 million budget and off 14 percent from the prior year’s actual.
March is the first month comparing a COVID month and we were up 70 percent over March of 2020. In looking deeper at the numbers, it looks like hotels/motels faired well, representing 59 percent of total TDT while Management Companies (Airbnb, VRBO) represented 29 percent of the total year to date.
In terms of cities, both Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral and Melbourne and the Beaches both represent about 29 percent of the total. With six months of reporting, we are at 62 percent of our total budget so far and are tracking at a little over $12.5 million if we only hit our budgeted numbers for the rest of the year.
So that brings us to April. Occupancy for the month of April averaged about 69 percent weekly which is only a few percentage points off of the 72.5% weekly average in March.
It is very conceivable that the April Tourist Development Tax could be well north of $1.5 million which is far ahead of the budgeted $892,000.
If that is the case, I believe we can officially say we have achieved a level of recovery that exceeds our best expectations. It also bodes well as we enter into our summer season.
Since March matched up with March of 2018, I plugged in the 2018 actuals for the rest of the year, and we could well be on a path to $14 million, which is $280 million in lodging revenue.
While it doesn’t get us to the 2018 level of $15.6 million, it beats the 2017 level of $13.6 million and sets us up for a great year as we go into our next fiscal in October.
With cruising starting this summer, we certainly see some bright skies ahead.