ORLANDO-The Orlando/Orange County Visitors and Convention Bureau monitors the local tourism industry’s health by number of visitors. But county comptroller Martha O. Haynie does it by dollar figures, as in monthly room tax collections at 115,000 hotel and motel rooms and short-term rentals. Right now, the tourism industry is in good health, she reports.

Haynie reports June tax revenue of $9.7 million was the highest June amount generated since the county started the 5% tax collections in 1979. “Cumulative collections exceed cumulative collections for last year by nearly 18% ($12.6 million) and budget projections by 10% ($7.7 million,” Haynie says in her monthly revenue compilation.

She adds, “This is also the 11th consecutive month where collections have exceeded collections of the same month the previous year.” Her staff had budgeted slightly more than $8.8 million in June revenue but collections topped that number by $887,900.

For the nine-month period, since the county’s fiscal year began Oct. 1, 2003, Haynie’s staff projected tax revenue of $77.2 million. Actual collections surpassed that number by $7.7 million.

May collections totaled $9 million, a 23% increase over May 2003. Local tourism industry consultants and hotel investment brokers tell GlobeSt.com tourism should grow by at least 20% at year end compared to 2003.

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