Tourism revenues jump in recent months

By Carlie Kollath | NEMS Daily Journal

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TUPELO – Tupelo’s tourism sales tax revenues are a bright spot in economic news.
In September – the most recent sales month with results – revenues grew 27 percent from September 2010. Tourism sales tax revenues were $287,952 in September 2011.
The numbers are delayed because the city reports the money when it is received from the state.
The revenues come from a 2 percent sales tax on hotels, motels and restaurants in Tupelo.
Neal McCoy, executive director of the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, reported the numbers at Monday’s board meeting. He said the numbers enjoyed the jump because of football-related spending, the Extraordinary Women Conference and activity related to the Toyota startup in November.
August revenues were $285,731, up 2.27 percent from August 2010.
July’s revenues were up 18 percent and June’s revenues grew 10.38 percent.
McCoy at a previous board meeting cautioned the board that it shouldn’t expect the large increases related to Toyota to be the new normal. He said he talked with other towns where plants opened up and the increases last for a few months, he said, before they go back down.
For first two months of the fiscal year, the tourism sales tax is up an average of 13.37 percent.
The CVB ended fiscal year 2011 with a 5.8 percent increase.
carlie.kollath@journalinc.com