Print
Marketing/Media

Full Rooms, Higher Rates Boost Lodging Taxes To Record Levels

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Aug 17, 2021
Tax collections from the area’s hospitality industry have hit records in recent months because of increased rates and more visitors to the area, area officials said Tuesday.

Recently released figures for June show nearly $2.9 million in room occupancy tax (ROT) collections from overnight stays, a 39% increase from the $2.1 million in collections received in New Hanover County last June.

“Typically, the ROT collections that exceed $2 million in a single month occur during peak summer months, most especially in July. Last year (2020) was the first year that each of the summer months -- June, July, and August -- exceeded $2 million in ROT collections,” said Kim Hufham, president and CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, doing business as the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Figures in May also exceeded the $2 million mark.

That was a monthly high for May with $2.2 million, a nearly 136% increase from the $951,314 in collections last May.

May is historically the fifth-strongest month for ROT collections behind the summer months. September is also a strong month for area ROT collections, she said.

“We believe that the ROT collection increases are a combination of room rate increases and more visitors. There is a lot of pent-up travel demand coming out of a long lockdown, and many businesses have shared that they started experiencing summer numbers during the spring,” Hufham said.

The Wilmington and Beaches CVB is also anticipating the rest of this summer’s figures to prove strong. Typically, collection figure reports are about two months behind release month.

Moving into the fall, Hufham says the CVB is “cautiously optimistic” that more ROT increases could come due to continued pent-up travel demand. That’s if the COVID-19 delta variant doesn’t impact future travel plans, area ticket sales and requires other mandates to come in the future.

New Hanover County on Tuesday issued a mandatory indoor mask requirement starting this week.

“It is unclear at this point how the current rise in coronavirus cases will impact fall and beyond. Much will depend on government guidance/restrictions as well as how travelers perceive the safety of travel,” Hufham said.

Continued demand, however, for the rest of the fall is also coming in the form of visitors traveling from outside the area “to attend high-profile Live Nation acts that are scheduled to perform at the new Live Oak Bank Pavilion,” Hufham said.

Live Nation is also enforcing mandates for its concerts by requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID tests in the fall.

“Fortunately, Wilmington and our island beaches has thus far been perceived as a safe destination because of our beaches, riverfront, state parks, outdoor recreation and the Count On Me NC and other safety measures that many businesses have implemented during the pandemic," Hufham said. "With so many unknowns we believe it’s too soon to make projections beyond summer."
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Mikestonestreetcropped 862150530

Community Member Filing Bankruptcy? Here’s What HOA Boards Should Know.

Mike Stonestreet - CAMS (Community Association Management Services)
David webversion headshots march21 8172134246

10 STEPS TO PREPARE YOUR FACILITY FOR HEAVY STORMS

David Grandey - Highland Roofing Company
Junegunter teachinghorse headshot 5721115557

What Is Next?

June Gunter - TeachingHorse

Trending News

Apartment Developer Tied To Midtown Rezoning

Johanna F. Still - Jan 17, 2022

In The Current Issue

Top 10 Most-read Stories Of 2021

Check out the top 10 most-read Greater Wilmington Business Journal by online readers in 2021....


New Hanover, Brunswick Back To Tier 3

After just one year at Tier 2, New Hanover and Brunswick counties return to Tier 3 status, the least economically distressed ranking designa...


Q&A: Recruiting, Aiding Small Businesses

In his role with the chamber, Josh Hallingse aims to attract new small businesses to Wilmington but to help those already here grow...

Book On Business

The 2021 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Trying to Grow a Business?
2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100