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Visit Tampa Bay CEO Says Record Year For Tourism In Hillsborough County

Never mind the hurricanes and the Zika that have come to Florida. Santiago Corrada, the CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, says it's been a banner year for tourism in Hillsborough County.

The close of the fiscal year, September 30th, showed record-breaking numbers and he's waiting to see how the calendar year ends.  Corrada says if the tourism agency hits the mark it expects to then, which is $600 million in taxable hotel revenue, it will mean yet another record and a special designation.

“We will be designated as a "high impact" tourism destination in the state of Florida, there are only eight other counties that have that designation, we would be the ninth, and then our county commission could enter into discussions to raise the bed tax by 1 percent to the highest amount that can be collected, that would be 6 percent, we're at 5 percent right now," Corrada said.

Corrada says this last summer was the "busiest convention business summer of all time" in 2016. And he's looking forward to the College Football National Championship Game in January and the exposure it will bring to Hillsborough County.