Tourism still struggling in Orange County

Tourist development tax (TDT) collections (resort tax) received by Orange County for June 2020 were $2,629,400. That is an 89.2% decrease compared to last year’s collections.

"Obviously, it’s not sustainable for us to continue spending as if nothing had happened," said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. "Without question, the board of county commissioners is going to have to make some public policy decisions that are going to be tough decisions. We’re going to have to cut some spending."

Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond said the county is pulling from its reserves to cover bills, but when might those reserves dry up?

"That really depends on tourism. If tourists come back here and start staying in hotels like they used to at our peak we were generating $25 to $30 million dollars a month in tourism revenue," he said, "and if you’re generating that, you’re not going to be using reserves, you’re going to be generating reserves."

While TDT collections remain at historically low levels, TDT collections increased compared to May 2020 collections. That increase is at least partially attributable to the re-openings of Universal, SeaWorld, and other attractions in June — although at limited capacities.