Orange County’s Tourist Tax Tumbles: November Marks 7th Drop In 8 Months

Orange County has reported a sustained fall in Tourist Development Tax (TDT) receipts, a troubling pattern that has continued for the majority of 2023.

The Orange County Comptroller and Visit Orlando have revealed new numbers that show a 4% decline in TDT collections in November compared to the same month in 2022, totaling about $29.7 million.

This is the county’s sixth revenue decline in the last eight months, showing a substantial slowdown in the tourism industry.

A Comparison of Hotel Occupancy and Rates

The effect of lower TDT revenues is reflected in the region’s hotel occupancy and pricing. Hotel occupancy in Metro Orlando has dropped to 69.8%, a significant decrease from the previous year.

Furthermore, the average daily rate for hotel rooms in Orlando has reduced by 4.2% to $180.44. These numbers point to a broader slump in the tourism industry, with fewer tourists staying overnight or spending less on lodging.

Optimistic Outlook for Future Bookings

Despite the current economic depression, there remains some hope for the future. According to Visit Orlando, Orange County’s convention and tourism agency, room night bookings for 2024 are 5% higher than last year.

In addition, advance airline ticket bookings into Orlando have increased by 10% in the first quarter of 2024. These factors point to a potential resurgence in the tourism business, which could result in a recovery in TDT collections in the coming year.

Orange County's Tourist Tax Tumbles: November Marks 7th Drop In 8 Months

In summary, while Orange County’s tourist sector is facing issues due to a reduction in TDT payments and hotel metrics, an increase in future bookings and airline ticket sales provides a good prognosis for 2024.

The following TDT collections report, which is due in February, will be critical in offering additional insight into the county’s tourism trends.

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