Friday, November 7, 2014 - 3:38pm
St.Pete/Clearwater (Nov. 7, 2014) - With the Pinellas County Tax Collector reporting record September collections earlier this week, the St. Pete/Clearwater area officially set a new bed tax record for FY2013-14, collecting more than $35 million over the 12-month period ending Sept. 30.
This figure represents a 12.7% jump from the $31 million collected in FY12-13, which itself was a record-breaking year. Over the past four years, the bed tax has grown by a total of $11.3 million, or 48%.
For local tourism officials, the news confirms what the metrics have been suggesting for some time.
"There's no doubt about it," said Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Interim Director David Downing. "The St. Pete/Clearwater area is entering a new tourism era, and these record numbers reflect that growth."
Tourist Development Council and Pinellas County Commission Chair Karen Seel echoed that sentiment.
"This is great news for all of Pinellas County," Seel said. "The hospitality industry is our top local employer, so to have such strength in this key sector means continued economic growth---and jobs."
Looking to the future, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater will be unveiling its 2015 marketing plan, new website and other initiatives at its Annual Marketing Meeting from 3-7 p.m. on Nov. 18 at The Capitol Theatre in Clearwater.