St. Pete/Clearwater closed out the year with a strong September, generating a 2.4% increase in hotel bed tax funds compared to September 2022, despite Hurricane Idalia’s impact on the destination during Labor Day weekend.
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater President/CEO Brian Lowack announced the organization set a record for Pinellas County with more than $98 million in hotel bed tax collections for fiscal year 2023.
In total, for fiscal year 2023 (Oct. 1, 2022-Sept. 30, 2023), the St. Pete/Clearwater destination:
- Generated nearly $1.1 billion in local hotel revenue – representing a $30 million increase from last year and a $200 million increase over 2019 with overall destination accommodations revenue in fiscal year 2023 surpassing $1.6 billion (including all additional motel, RV, and online vacation rental sites).
- Saw nearly 6 million hotel rooms occupied during fiscal year 2023, representing an increase of more than 100,000 rooms compared to 2022 and nearly 220,000 more rooms compared to 2019.
- Generated a total bed tax collection that reflected a nearly $3 million increase from last year’s total.
“St. Pete/Clearwater continues to show why it is internationally renowned and a top destination for travelers seeking our award-winning beaches and exploring the many other unique experiences found within Pinellas County,” said Lowack. “I’m proud of the work of our entire Visit St. Pete/Clearwater team, the Tourist Development Council, the Board of County Commissioners, and – most importantly – our community partners to grow our brand and take the destination to new heights. Hosting visitors is such an important part of our local economy with one in 10 jobs in Pinellas County being associated with tourism.”
“We continue to see investment throughout our County with new hotels, dining options, and entertainment,” said Janet C. Long, Pinellas County Commission Chair and Tourist Development Council Chair. “With Brian’s leadership and an energized TDC, we will look for opportunities to continue this upward trajectory for the tourism industry in Pinellas County. The tourist development tax plays a vital part in our County as we identify the most optimum ways to reinvest these funds into enhancements – like our beautiful beaches and the new Rays Stadium – to fuel additional economic growth and help keep property taxes lower throughout the County.”
The hotel bed tax – also known as the tourist development tax – is a 6% tax on all short-term accommodation rentals. Hotel Bed Tax dollars must be assigned to projects that will support tourism. Visitor-generated taxes are currently funding emergency shoreline restoration and forthcoming beach renourishment as well as Pinellas County’s contribution to the new Tampa Bay Rays Stadium.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.