Panama City Beach recorded an increase in tourism development tax collections during December 2016.
The Bay County Tourist Development Council announced that collections were up 11.01 percent for the month of December compared to the previous year, indicating a record number of monthly visitors. The destination is currently up 18.7 percent for the fiscal year which began October 2016.
Record crowds at the New Year’s Eve Annual Beach Ball Drop are just one of the reasons for the seasonal increase in numbers. In years past, the October through February period was generally viewed as a dead time of the year for Panama City Beach tourism. Businesses struggled, many even shutting down for the winter months due to lack of business. Not anymore, and the numbers are proving it.
“It’s exciting to see so many families choose to spend part of their December in Panama City Beach truly making us part of their holiday traditions,” shares Visit Panama City Beach President and CEO Dan Rowe.
Visitors are discovering that December is a great time to experience Panama City Beach, as proven by this year’s double-digit growth. Looking ahead to spring, fun events including the Panama City Beach Mardi Gras and Music Festival, UNwineD, Pepsi SpringJam, Emerald Coast Boat & Lifestyle Show, Seabreeze Jazz Festival and Ironman 70.3 offer additional draws for everyone.
The Tourist Development Tax is a five percent bed tax that is collected from a special taxing jurisdiction within Bay County on short-term vacation rentals including hotels and condominiums. It is the most accurate gauge available to estimate destination visitation numbers. The tax funds the marketing and promotional activities performed by the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. It is also used for beach cleaning and grooming, product improvement and beach re-nourishment.