Bed tax revenue leaps in May


Bed taxes were up 33 percent in May and have increased 12 percent for the year.

Courtesy of Holly Atkins
Published: Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 09:46 AM.

Anecdotal evidence about tourism in May was more than supported by the numbers.

Bed tax revenue for the month jumped 33 percent over May 2013 and represented the fourth month in the calendar year during which tourism revenue increased by percentages in the double digits compared to the prior year.

For the fiscal year, bed tax revenue is up 12 percent and Tourist Development Council executive director Jennifer Jenkins said, while acknowledging the hefty lifting ahead, she is not taking her eye off a 20 percent increase by the end of the fiscal year.

“In my mind we are shooting to make that 20 percent,” Jenkins said.

The May numbers were gaudier when considering that many school systems in areas from which Gulf County draws tourists, particularly the Southeast and lower Midwest, were late finishing for the year due to weather days.

Jenkins identified several key factors in May’s impressive showing, all the more impressive given that a busy June ended with the opening of scallop season last week and is followed by what is typically the busiest month of the tourist season, July.

 “We had a really good spring promotion,” Jenkins said of the #GCFLnofilter promotion that included collaboration across several platforms and a partnership with Outdoor Nation, a non-profit seeking to connect so-called Millenials to the outdoors.

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