Tourist Development Tax collection showed a 41.48 percent decrease in South Walton for March 2020 compared with the previous year. Travel impacts from COVID-19 began to be felt mid-March, significantly impacting these results. It is anticipated that the impacts will be further felt for April’s numbers, and continuing as long as COVID-19 continues to impact people’s ability to travel.
The Tourist Development Tax, or bed tax, is a five percent tax collected on hotels, condos and other short term rentals. It is the best way to gauge visitation and demand trends in South Walton. The revenue supports tourism marketing and beach operations including cleaning and maintaining beaches, lifeguards, destination improvements and preservation initiatives.