Published on : Friday, November 3, 2017
Of late, the tourism officials declared a 13.9 percent growth in tourist development tax collections for September. Likewise, August collections increased by 13.7 percent over August 2016.
“This is wonderful for our area,” said Catie Feeney, Visit Panama City Beach public relations manager. “We have been up every single month for the entire fiscal year.”
The fiscal year that began October 2016, tourist development tax numbers increased 13.5 percent. The 5 percent “bed tax” in Bay County was collected in terms of vacation and short-term rentals. The revenue gathered is used for funding, advertising and tourism promotion in the special taxing district, the convention bureau, convention centers, tourist information centers, and other related areas. Also, it supports funding of beach maintenance and re-nourishment.
Feeney explained the growth can be attributed to programs like the “Make it Yours” online marketing campaign. This organization has been preparing its programs toward a more focused approach on visitors and their experiences. Feeney explained that Visit Panama City Beach’s social media presence equally influenced the numbers.
“Our overall strategy is to position Panama City Beach as a year-round destination, always marketing to the right audience with the right message at the right time,” Visit Panama City Beach President and CEO Dan Rowe said in a press release. “In the past couple of years, schools in our target markets have concluded summer vacation in early August. As a result, we shifted our tactics to target families with young children and young couples without children to encourage overnight and week-long stays.”
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