ORANGE COUNTY, Florida. – Orange County’s tourism industry continues to rebound amid the pandemic, with summer travelers staying in area hotels bringing in more than $ 21 million in taxes for the month of June.
The tourism development tax, also known as TDT dollars collected on hotel and resort stays, for June was the highest reported since the pandemic started last spring, which had consequences financial devastation for Florida’s tourism industry.
“At the end of the day, the numbers were good,” Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond said on Monday.
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June also marked the second month that Orange County officials have not needed to dip into the county’s reserve funds since the start of the pandemic, according to the Orange County Comptroller’s Office. The county has used $ 146 million in reserves to meet its TDT obligations since the start of the pandemic.
Diamond said that while the county is now adding to its reserve, its funding is “still not out of the woods.”
In order to replenish the county’s reserves where it was before the pandemic, Diamond said the county needed to add $ 1.5 million in surplus for 96 consecutive months.
“Getting back to where we were, it’s been about eight years,” he said.
NEW: @occompt says more than $ 21 million in tourism was raised in June. The highest since the pandemic. Does not beat the record year in 2019. But equivalent to 2017 which, according to Phil Diamond, was a “strong year” @ news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/6tSbuUWZfX
– Nadeen Yanes (@ NadeenNews6) August 9, 2021
TDT collections totaled $ 21,717,000 for June, an increase of 710% over last year for the same period. The intake is also up from May, when the county reported $ 16.8 million in hotel stays.
Diamond said the June numbers aren’t quite close to pre-pandemic 2019 levels, but are roughly equivalent to 2017.
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