Tourism Numbers Down

Hurricanes and high gasoline prices are being blamed for keeping tourists away from Florida vacations.

According to figures from Florida’s hotel industry show tourism had dropped in two key areas, Orlando and Panama City.

Accountants with “Visit Florida” are looking at hotel tax collections in both areas for this past August. The figures dropped this year when compared with last year.

Theme parks don’t release their attendance figures. So the hotel numbers are considered the market’s best barometer.

Orlando’s collections dropped 4.2 percent. Panama City Beach Bed Tax collections were down 6.8 percent. That’s the second consecutive month of sagging revenue after a booming start to 2005.