MARION COUNTY, FL – The Tourist Development Council announced this week not only an increase in Tourist Development Tax revenue, but a record breaking $402,060.20. This number reflects tax collection from stays in short term accommodations in Marion County for less than 6 months in March 2021. This is the highest revenue to date, for a single month, since voters approved the TDT referendum effective January 2005.
The Marion County Tax Collector’s Office reported more than an 87% increase in revenue for the month compared to the same time last year. Even compared to March 2019, revenue increased more than 4%.
“It is great to see tourism in the county not just recover, but thrive,” said Marion County Commission Chairman Jeff Gold. “Especially following the year that we have had, we tip our hat to the community for helping keep this very important industry alive; to the restaurants, hoteliers and attractions for enduring the tough time; and to our tourists, for choosing Marion as your destination.”
“Thanks to the leadership of the commissioners and their efforts championing the tourism industry, our proactive approach to recovery is proving a success. We look forward to seeing the community and our economy continue to prosper as the determination of our tourism partners persist, residents support local business and new assets like the World Equestrian Center and Florida Aquatics Swimming & Training facility come to our amazing destination,” said Loretta Shaffer Tourist Development Director for the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau.
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Since mid-May 2020, with the support of the Marion County Board of County Commissioners, the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau has been active in bolstering the rebound of the local tourism industry. The ongoing message from the county welcomes visitors looking for a safe vacation in an open space atmosphere.
With the goal to attract families to the destination for summer vacations, the Ocala/Marion County VCB is currently running a summertime multimedia marketing campaign that highlights outdoor things to do in the Florida sunshine. Apart from traditional visitors, sports tourism is picking up this time of year. From May to August 2021 alone, seven youth sporting events are expected to bring an estimated economic impact more than $4 million.
The Ocala/Marion Visitors and Convention Bureau works with partners from the local level to international level, to promote the area as a destination. Those who visit the community not only spend millions on entertainment, restaurants and shopping, but also save local residents hundreds of dollars in taxes every year and help to create thousands of jobs. For more information about the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau, visit OcalaMarion.com or call toll-free 1.888.FL.OCALA.