Welcoming Spring Break Improvements
With the shift in Spring Break laws enacted and enforced over the last several years tourism development in Panama City Beach has taken a different more positive turn. Centered around a spike in families vacationing in the local area and coupled with the continuing support of our returning snow birds every year, 2017 has already seen an outcome of many positive benefits for our visitors, residents, and the community. According to the Tourist Development Council, February alone shown an all-time record high in bed tax revenue collections of $728,369 which is up by 10% since 2016. Overall, there has been an increase of 14.5% for the fiscal year beginning just this past October. This 5 % tourist development tax is collected on short-term vacation rentals. It greatly benefits the community as it “funds marketing and promotional activities performed by the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. The tax is also used for beach cleaning and grooming, product improvement, and beach renourishment.”
Accordingly, enacting the spring break laws has also changed the atmosphere on the beach. Law enforcement has reported much fewer arrests with a crime rate lower than the last couple of years. With the ‘no drinking on the beach during the month of March’ ordinance put into effect along with nine other such ordinances enforced, spring break boasted a much more family friendly atmosphere then in the past. Additionally, the Bay County Tourist Development Council has been focusing its efforts on boosting year-round visitation by marketing to and hosting more family oriented events such as Mardi Gras and our snow bird residents have continually shown support to our local area which we are grateful for. With these changes taking place in the community Panama City Beach is still considered one of the top destinations in the Panhandle to both visit and to reside in and our community has certainly felt the positive effects this year!