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Tourist Development Tax collection showed an impressive 18.41-percent increase in South Walton for November 2018, compared with the previous year. Walton County recorded approximately $976,289.83 in Tourist Development taxes in November, an increase of approximately $75,903.70.

“November is firmly in our shoulder season – a time we’ve been focused on growing visitation,” says Visit South Walton Director of Communications David Demarest. “This year we saw an uptick in visitation for Thanksgiving, and continued popularity of November events like the Seaside Half Marathon, the Mountainfilm Festival on Tour at WaterColor and the Seeing Red Wine Festival. Increasing visitation during a traditionally slow month is crucial to helping our local businesses thrive, and keeping Walton County locals employed year-round.”

The most recent returns are an all-time record for the month of November, and show that in the past 5 years the month of November has increased by over 160-percent from fiscal year 2014 to the current fiscal year, 2019.

The Tourist Development tax, or bed tax, is a four 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.