Published on : Friday, April 2, 2021
From theme parks with wild rides to remote nature wilderness, there’s a lot of amusement for local residents take pleasure in. These attractions are also popular with visitors to the area, and hence, the Hillsborough County Tourist Development Council (TDC) takes care of making them feel welcome while creating opportunities for related businesses.
The council does so by preparing a plan for tourism development in Hillsborough County to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), suggesting ways to spend tourism-related tax revenue.
The TDC has 11 members, including seven residents who have ties with local tourism and hotel industries who are appointed for a term of four years by the BOCC. The council also includes nominated officials from Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City, along with the BOCC. Meetings are held quarterly, or as summoned by the council chair, a position held by the BOCC chair, which currently is Commissioner Les Miller.
The most recent meeting, held on February 11, emerged as a prospect for members to review the financial impact of the pandemic on tourism revenue. It included a presentation by Santiago Corrada, the president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, that had hotel occupancy numbers for the region, exhibiting tourist lodgings in Eastern Hillsborough County as doing better than those in areas that rely more on convention or theme park traffic.
“They have been performing very, very strongly throughout the entire pandemic. It’s the best performing submarket in all of Hillsborough County,” said Corrada.
Hotel occupancy rate for Eastern Hillsborough County dipped 14.6 percent in the first quarter of the fiscal year, compared to a 51.7 percent decline in downtown Tampa occupancy.