Get Ready For A Busy Summer

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That’s what Lee County Visitors & Convention Bureau Executive Director Tamara Pigott said Wednesday during a Sanibel Chamber virtual presentation. And that’s sweet music to the ears of every business owner in Lee County.

Pigott said if COVID vaccinations continue to ramp up we’re going to have a bang up summer. “We believe people want to get their toes back in the sand.”

After a one-two punch of Red Tide and a national pandemic there’s no doubt Fort Myers Beach businesses want nothing more than a busy season followed by a busy summer and declining COVID cases.

Pigott also believes 2022 will be business as usual. While she said it make take a little longer for international travelers to return to their normal levels, Pigott believes “leisure will be king in 2022.”

More good news announced by Pigott was what she said about the Island Hopper Songwriter Fest, which includes both Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel. While it’s unclear what the event will look like, because the venues are small, the event is a go as of now for 2021.

A good gauge of how the local economy is recovering is the collection of tourism tax dollars. For the current fiscal year (which began in October of 2020) tourism tax revenue is down only 8.4%, not bad considering how hard states that were in a prolonged lockdown were hit. 2021 is off to a better start than 2019.

Here’s a look at the tax revenue dating back to 2017…