Orange County tourist tax collections drop for 3rd straight month

Tourist tax revenue down 7.3% compared to June 2022

ORLANDO, Fla. – Tourist development tax collections in Orange County were down for another month in year-over-year comparisons after reaching an all-time high in March.

Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond said the county collected $30,028,300 in June 2023, down 7.3% compared to June 2022 when the county collected $32,360,400.

The tourist development tax is levied on room nights at hotels, vacation rentals and other lodgings. State law says the county can use the money to fund facilities that contribute to tourism revenue, like the convention center, and for tourism advertising.

Tourism tax collections rose consistently over the last year as tourism bounced back from the pandemic. In March 2023, the county took in a record $38,988,300, which was a 0.7% increase from March 2022.

Diamond pointed out that June collections were still higher than May 2023, by $3.8 million.

Visit Orlando, the quasi-government agency that markets tourism in the area, attributes the drop in revenue to summer heat and competition from other tourism destinations.

Hotel occupancy was also down 4.3% year over year, to 74%, while the average daily rate was $185.

That’s despite record attendance to events at the Orange County Convention Center in June, including the AAU Volleyball Championships.

Still, Visit Florida said it expects lodging demand in the area to grow by 3% in 2023.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.