Tourism taxes rise, but new variant travel rules could impact progress – WFTV

ORANGE COUNTY, Florida – Tourism leaders in central Florida are waiting to see how the new omicron COVID-19 variant and President Joe Biden’s new travel rules impact the local economy.

Orange County officials say tourism development tax collections have steadily increased, but the new variant could impact that progress.

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“It’s like two steps forward, one step back,” said controller Phil Diamond.

October’s figures for tourism tax money are still well below pre-pandemic levels, even after hitting an encouraging figure of $ 21 million. You have to go back to 2017 to find an October with tourist development taxes (TDT) as low as 2021.

READ: Orlando tourism has yet to be affected by Omicron variant, officials say

However, the continuing story of COVID-19 adds another twist.

“When COVID increases, tourist taxes decrease and when COVID decreases, tourist taxes increase,” Diamond said.

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TDT comes from anywhere people sleep – from hotels and campgrounds to AirBnBs.

Diamond said it was now another waiting situation over the impact of the latest travel restrictions on the numbers.

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