Business and leisure travel is increasing across the U.S. and individual cities are feeling the impact on a very personal level. Hosting the Republican National Convention gave Tampa an extra boost during the rebound.
Officials say Hillsborough County’s tourism industry is recovering from the recession.
In the last fiscal year, the county collected $21.2 million in tourist development taxes. That’s the most Hillsborough County has collected in six years and is just $646,000 shy of the 2007, pre-recession record of $21.8 million.
Hillsborough’s tourism agency CEO Santiago Corrada told the Tampa Bay Times that people are spending more money. He says he sees it with leisure travel and convention business.
Corrada says the county has rebounded from rock bottom in 2010, when tourist tax collections plunged 20 percent from the 2007 record to $17.5 million.
In 2012, the year Tampa hosted the Republican National Convention, bed tax collections reached $21 million. In 2013, the bed tax collections rose without a big-ticket event.
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Photo credit: A photo of downtown Tampa from the water. Antoine Gady / Flickr