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Friday, June 14, 2024

Marion tourists produce nearly $700K in tax revenue during record-setting month

The Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau is celebrating a record-setting month of tourism that brought nearly $700,000 in revenue to Marion County.

In February of 2024, visitors helped bring a record-breaking $697,599.40 in tax revenue to Marion County. This number reflects tax collected from stays during the month, in short-term accommodations in Marion County for less than six months.

According to the visitors and convention bureau, this is the highest single-month revenue in Ocala/Marion County since voters approved the Tourist Development Tax referendum, which became effective in January of 2005. The use of this revenue is strictly regulated by state law.

Next week, during the Marion County Board of County Commissioners meeting that will be held on Tuesday, the commissioners will recognize National Travel and Tourism Week (May 19 to May 25). They will also highlight how travel uplifts the local economy while creating quality jobs, inspiring new businesses, and elevating the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

According to the latest research on the economic impact of tourism in Marion County, a total of 1.4 million people visited the county between April 2023 and March 2024, generating more than $1 billion in revenue.

The visitors and convention bureau stated that tourists spent over $682 million directly on accommodations, restaurants, groceries, transportation, attractions, entertainment, and shopping during that one-year period. Additionally, this visitor spending is expected to save residents $466 in taxes annually, per household.

“Tourism is vital to Marion County’s thriving economy and high quality of life. Our natural wonders continue to attract events and visitors from all over the world,” said Marion County Board of County Commissioners Chair Michelle Stone.

Commissioner Stone continued by stating that the revenue from the state’s tourism “supports more than 10,000 local jobs and generates millions toward our community’s revenue. Tourism is the lifeblood of Florida, driving economic growth, creating jobs, and providing revenue that supports various sectors; from hospitality to retail. It’s an essential part of our identity and prosperity, allowing us to operate without a state income tax.”

Loretta Shaffer, Tourism Development Director, referred to Ocala/Marion County’s residents and their businesses as “(the) most important advocates in tourism.”

Shaffer also encouraged residents to “take some time this summer to explore the outdoor playground that awaits in your own backyard to truly appreciate where you live.”

For more information, or to download the OcalaMarion Travel Guide App, visit the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau website.