August occupancy revenue strong, meals dollars lag

By on October 20, 2020

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(Outer Banks Visitors Bureau)

Here’s more evidence of the uneven economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on major tourism-related industries here. In his recap of the Dare County Tourism Board’s Oct. 15 meeting, Lee Nettles, executive director of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, reviewed occupancy and dining receipts from August, the last month for which data is available.

In August 2020, occupancy revenues came in at $139.7 million, up less than 1% from August 2019 ($138.8 million). But as Nettles points out, August 2019 was a huge month, up a whopping 27% from August 2018, so maintaining that pace in 2020 is no small feat. (And in July 2020, occupancy revenues broke an all-time single-month record, at $152.3 million.) For the year to date, even with the county shut down to visitors for about two months, occupancy revenue is up 3% from 2019.

On the meals side, the impact of the capacity and alcohol-serving restrictions caused by the COVID pandemic paint a different picture. In August 2020, those revenues were about $34.7 million, down 21% from the August 2019 figure of $44 million. Year to date, meals collections in 2020 are down 28% from 2019 numbers. Click here to view Dare County Tourism Board meeting recap | October 2020

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