Tourist Development Tax collection showed a 52% decrease in South Walton for May 2020 compared with the previous year. This decrease can be directly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and the governor's ban on vacation rentals.
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.