Orange County tourism tax collections continued to rebound in July

Collections up $3 million since June

The chart from the Orange County Comptroller shows monthly TDT collections for the past three fiscal years. (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County’s tourism industry saw another promising month in July with more than $24 million collected from hotel and resort fees, according to the latest report from the comptroller’s office.

Tourism Development Tax, or TDT, collections from hotel and resort stays were up 376% this July compared to the same time last year when Florida, along with the rest of the world, was still experiencing the first wave of the pandemic.

The comptroller’s office released the TDT report a month after the tax period. On Thursday, Comptroller Phil Diamond detailed the findings in a weekly COVID-19 Orange County update.

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According to those numbers, July hotel stays brought in an additional $3 million compared to June and were even higher than June 2019 collections.

“This is very encouraging news. However, the surging COVID-19 cases and positivity rates are still weighing heavily on Florida and Orange County,” a news release read. “Florida has recently been labeled by numerous media outlets as the epicenter of the pandemic, and our hospitals have been filling up and stretched thin. Unless the virus is controlled, the current environment will make it challenging to sustain the economic recovery in the months ahead.”

Orange County uses the TDT collections to pay for tourism-related improvements and expenses, including the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the Orange County Convention Center.

Since the pandemic began last spring the county has used $145.5 million in reserve funding to meet its TDT obligations.

The next TDT numbers for August will be released in early October.