Here’s more evidence of the strength of the tourism boom this summer. The July 2020 occupancy revenue numbers released from the Sept. 17 Dare County Tourism Board meeting show $152.3 million in occupancy revenue that month. Not only is that a huge 37% increase from the July 2019 numbers, it is a single-month record for Dare County. And despite the two-month shutdown of the county to visitors earlier this year, 2020 occupancy collections are already up 3% year-to-date over 2019.
Even the usually low-keyed Outer Banks Visitors Bureau Executive Director Lee Nettles described those results as “unbelievable.”
It is a different story, however, when it comes to meals collection this summer. Due largely to capacity restrictions resulting from the need to social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was $37.5 million in meals collections in July 2020, which is 21% lower than the July 2019 numbers. And for the year to date, 2020 meal collections are down 30% from last year.