Lingering after effects of Hurricane Irma limited tourism and visitation in Collier County in October, but despite a decline in visitors, occupancy, spending, and tourism tax increases rose, the data from the Naples, Marco Island, and the Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau reports.
“There was a 3.2 percent increase in average daily rate for rooms over October 2016, fueled by high demand from returning visitors and post-hurricane workers,” said CVB executive director Jack Wert. “Hoteliers were pleased to see that revenue per average room increased 9.2 percent, a big help to them considering the revenue they lost while properties were closed due to damages and waiting for power to return.”
According to the data, the county recorded $1.2 million in bed tax revenues in October, up 11.35 percent from a year ago. Part of this change comes from the increase in tourism taxes, with the rate increasing on renting a hotel or short-term rental going from 4 to 5 percent in September, as part of an effort to fund an amateur sports complex, and ongoing beach renourishment and maintenance efforts. If compared evenly at 4 percent, the report states the county would’ve seen a 6.58 percent drop.
Occupancy rose by 6.2 percent thanks in part to post-hurricane repairs or planned renovations, so even though visitation fell 11.3 percent, average room rates rose due to lower supply.
Overall, Irma’s impacts on September and October haven’t put too much of a damper on 2017. Year to date visitation is nearly flat, down just 1.1 percent, while direct visitor spending of $1.4 million and total economic impact from tourism of $1.7 billion are both up on the year.
“We continue to spread the word through advertising, public relations and social media that our destination is open for business and welcoming visitors, and we’re looking forward to a solid winter visitor season,” said Wert.
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