The Tourist Development Council announced this week another record-breaking month for Tourist Development Tax revenue in Marion County, $524,933.16, exceeding the next highest month by more than $100,000.
This number reflects tax collection from stays in short-term accommodations in Marion County for less than six months in February 2022. 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 a 46 percent increase in revenue for the month compared to the same time last year. Even compared to pre-pandemic, in February 2020, revenue increased more than 73 percent.
Several events in February likely brought out-of-town visitors, including HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, Grandview Invitational, World Equestrian Center’s Winter Spectacular, and Ocala Shrine Rodeo.
“Marion County continues to be not only a great place to live but a wonderful place to visit as well,” Marion County Commission Chairman Carl Zalak III said. “With the World Equestrian Center, our local parks and springs, dozens of restaurants, and much more around the county, this tourism boost makes a huge impact on funding for our government services and jobs, and saves Marion County residents hundreds of dollars in taxes.”
“We are excited that travel is not just back for our area, but stronger than ever,” said Loretta Shaffer, Tourist Development Director for the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau. “This robust return to travel is thanks to our county leadership supporting the community and destination marketing efforts, our hard-working tourism industry partners and our truly hospitable residents. Marion County’s future looks bright and we look forward to showcasing our beautiful destination to travelers world-wide.”
The Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau is currently conducting a yearlong economic impact from tourism study, which will complete next year. According to the latest economic impact research conducted in July 2020-June 2021, visitors generate more than $1 billion in economic impact to Marion County in one year. Visitors spend more than $690,000 directly on accommodations, restaurants, groceries, transportation, attractions, entertainment, and shopping.
Additionally, visitors generate a net benefit of nearly $9 million to Marion County government services and infrastructure, saving locals more than $500 in taxes per household each year. To view the most recent economic impact of tourism study and past studies, visit OcalaMarion.com/ About-Us/Research-Data.