Dare County’s hotel/motel/vacation rental receipts were relatively flat in March when compared to one year ago, while meals ticked upwards in 2023. And gross collections on retails sales in the first two months of the year appear to reflect inflation-driven price increases.
According to the latest report from the Outer Banks Visitor’s Bureau to the Dare County Tourism Board, occupancy tax collections in March totaled $228,526.82. That’s down 0.62 percent from March 2022. Gross occupancy was at $22.9 million, an increase of just over $13,000 from last year.
“I’ll remind you that back in March 2021, we posted a gain of nearly 700 percent,” said Outer Banks Visitors Bureau Executive Director Lee Nettles. Gross occupancy topped $28 million in March that year.
“So the fact that we’re anywhere near those numbers is quite an accomplishment,” Nettles said.
Gross occupancy for January through March 2023 totaled $72.315 million, up 0.3 percent from last year.
Taxes charged on prepared meals in March added up to $179,353.02, a 1.53 percent rise from the year prior. Gross meals receipts were $19,062,221 in March, and over the first three months of 2023 meals are up 9.26 percent from last year.
For Fiscal Year 2022-23, total occupancy tax revenue totaled $6.992 million through March (5.4 percent ahead of 2021-22) and meals taxes are at $3.085 million (4.31 percent increase).
Dare County’s gross collections on retail sales through February were up 7.38 percent from the first two months of 2022. February’s totals were up 12.42 percent, topping $5.7 million. Since 2018, Dare County’s retail sales in February have increased by almost $3 million.
Nettles highlights a very busy agenda from the May 2023 meeting of the Dare County Tourism Board, which included presentation of the Long-Range Tourism Management Plan: