Brevard Achieves 16th Consecutive ‘Best Month Ever’ TDT Number from April 2021 to July 2022
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – HARD FALL OR SOFT LANDING – This is the question on my mind when I think of economy and tourism. The collection of the Tourism Development Tax (TDT) and the demand for hotel rooms far outstripping all previous figures has resulted in record growth in the county in terms of tourist arrivals.
In fact, from April 2021 to July 2022, there are 16 consecutive “Best Months Ever” TDT figures. So what does the future hold?
I recently reported that consumer research indicates that more and more people are concerned about the economy and likely to travel closer to home in the next six months.
But what effect could that have on us? We’ve seen a slight improvement in gas prices over the last month or so, but winter is still on the horizon and the weather is usually bleak in the north. Fuel prices rise as it gets colder.
A pilot shortage continues, with Allegiant canceling several routes, including one from Concord to Melbourne. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean doom and gloom for us.
Autumn usually marks a slowdown period for travel. Children are back at school and tend to take short trips anyway until the holidays.
With over 40 million people within an 8 hour drive of us, we are doing well in the drive market. Starting the first week of October, his $1.5 million fall marketing campaign, the largest to date, will begin.
So all things being equal, we are in a good position. However, it could slow down a bit if the economy sees some major setback, such as people postponing fall travel instead of waiting until the holidays.
The latest STR (Hotel Data) forecast report shows that occupancy is expected to decline in September and then rise slowly through January. The challenge with the overall slowdown is that there are 1,500 more hotel rooms and over 1,000 more vacation rental units than in 2019 (those average about 2 rooms per unit).
Maintaining demand to fill those rooms is a job that requires a lot of energy and effort. Our work may be cut for us.
Then, as we look to next spring and summer, which are our busiest seasons, we think we’ll be back in good shape with normal travel patterns.
According to the aforementioned hotel forecast, occupancy, ADR and RevPar (revenue per available room) are expected to hit record highs in March. At least that’s where we are right now, but as always, as market conditions change, we will monitor and adapt as necessary.
– Peter Kranis, Executive Director, Space Coast Office of Tourism