The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau is pleased to announce that the fiscal year completed in September (October 2010 September 2011) represents the highest bed tax collection on record with revenue of $24.2 million.
With nearly 50,000 Lee County residents employed in tourism, and the more than $2.4 billion economic impact tourism has within Lee County, the VCB's countywide destination marketing approach continues to be successful.
"This milestone illustrates the VCB's strategic marketing achievements. Our approach and commitment to promoting the entire destination continues to benefit the residents of Lee County," said VCB Executive Director Tamara Pigott.
The Lee County VCB's mission continues to focus on growing tourism for the benefit of the entire county. The VCB remains committed to serving the broader interests of the economy of Lee County by acting as an industry leader to market the entire area globally, facilitate travel to the area and preserve and protect the area's unique attributes for the continual benefit of its residents and the local travel and tourism industry.
In other news, The Lee County Clerk of Circuit Courts recently released the bed tax report in a new format. The Lee County Clerk of Circuit Courts Tourist Tax Audit Department is now able to provide an accurate and reflective data report by community, thanks to advanced technology and software recently put in place. This report provides information for the following specific areas: Boca Grande, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Captiva Island, Estero, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Lehigh Acres, North Fort Myers, Pine Island, and Sanibel Island. The report will be released annually at the conclusion of collections for the fiscal year.
The bed tax revenue funds three important countywide functions: destination marketing; beach & shoreline renourishment maintenance and enhancement projects; and stadium debt service and major maintenance for Lee County's spring training facilities. The countywide tax is authorized by Florida Statute 125.0104 to increase tourist-related business activities in Lee County.
--submitted by Nancy Hamilton