Orange County TDT rakes in $40.6M in March

Orlando, Florida, US - November 2021: The Wheel at ICON Amusemen
Orange County government had a big March with its tourist development tax revenue.

Orange County’s hotel tax generated about $40.6 million — the highest monthly collections ever — in March at a time when many schools across the country were on Spring Break.

Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond announced the tourist development tax (TDT) revenue amount, although he warned that the situation is complex because of the holiday’s timing this year.

“March 2024 collections were higher than March 2023 collections by $1.6 million or 4%. This is also the highest monthly collections ever,” Diamond said in a press release.

“While this is very positive news, it is important to note that seasonal variations, such as the timing of spring break and Easter vacations can cause monthly comparisons to be somewhat misleading. Last year, Easter fell in April. This year it fell in March. So, it will be important to monitor April collections.”

In Orange County, the 6% surcharge on hotel rooms generates money toward entertainment venues, like the Orange County Convention Center or the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts, as well as funding Visit Orlando’s marketing.

“At Visit Orlando, we are pleased to see such a strong result in March TDT collections after enhancing our holiday and winter marketing initiatives,” said Visit Orlando’s President and CEO Casandra Matej in a statement Monday morning.

Visit Orlando is advertising its “Unbelievably Real” campaign at cities across the country, including a seven-story digital ad playing in New York City’s Times Square.

“Beginning on April 8th, Visit Orlando launched campaigns to target both drive markets within Florida and 12 key out-of-state markets to stimulate travel demand for summer. Under the Unbelievably Real brand, the summer campaign features new out-of-home high-impact billboards in heavily populated areas of Washington, D.C., Boston, Baltimore, Charlotte, Atlanta and New York,” Matej said.

Florida Politics reported last month that Visit Orlando recently spent $600,000 to promote Disney World, Universal and SeaWorld during a Taylor Swift concert on Disney+.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


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