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Kimber Collins / WKRG News 5

FL - Okaloosa County reports 7.5M visitors in 2021, increases tax revenue by millions

More than 5 million visitors travel to Okaloosa County every year. In 2021, the number hit 7.5 million visitors, increasing tourist spending by 30 percent from 2020 for a total of $736 million, 28 percent more than 2019.

OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Okaloosa County set a record in 2021 for tourism spending and overnight lodging tax.

More than 5 million visitors travel to Okaloosa County every year. In 2021, the number hit 7.5 million visitors, increasing tourist spending by 30 percent from 2020 for a total of $736 million, 28 percent more than 2019.

“That is direct spend into the community into the restaurants charter captains our stores which grows our economy on top of the tourism development tax.”

JENNIFER ADAMS, DIRECTOR OF DESTIN FORT WALTON BEACH TOURISM

The Tourism Development Tax, or bed tax, is 5 cents on the dollar for overnight stays shorter than 6 months.

Alabama’s beaches poised for another record-breaking season despite COVID

“This year we had a record year,” said Adams. “We increased our collection almost 74 percent over 2020. What is even more important is it was 41 percent over 2019.”

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