Tourism Development Tax collections saw a decrease at the end of 2023
The Tourism Development Tax, or TDT, continues to decline when compared to last year’s numbers. Orange County collects a 6% tax on hotel and short-term rental stays.
Orange County’s Comptroller reported a 4.4% decrease in TDT collection in December when compared to the same month in 2022. That’s a difference of $1.4 million.
Visit Orlando’s Director of Market Research & Insights, Maria Henson, said the decrease was expected as December is a tricky month for tourism.
“You usually see a little bit of a slowdown early in the month and first couple of weeks, and then it picks up for the holidays, December and the end of December in Orlando is a pretty busy season,” Henson said.
Henson predicted that January’s numbers will be promising thanks to big events like the Cheez-it Citrus Bowl. Other tourist-drawing events in the first quarter of this year, TDT collection should rise.
“We're looking at a strong interest in March and the events that we've already seen here and welcome from all of the group meetings to PGA to all out championship to now Olympic Marathon trials to MegaCon,” Henson said. “I think there is a lot of excitement and hope for a solid year for us.”
Henson said the tax is linked directly to tourism in the state and where they wish to stay.
Visit Orlando said its latest research indicates a positive start to 2024 compared to 2023. The president and CEO, Casandra Matej, provided insight on the report released. She highlighted a new record at the Orlando International Airport; a 15.1% increase in total passengers year-over-year.
This decrease comes after Orange County Commissioners in November said they wanted to reduce Visit Orlando's share of TDT funding.