A strong showing for its jazz festival boosted this year’s March and April tourism revenue in Panama City Beach, Florida, as the destination looks to boost its visitation in the spring.
According to new data from Visit Panama City Beach and the Bay County Tourist Development Council, collections for the month of March and April 2018 were up a combined 15 percent. Collection for April 2018 were up 4.9 percent compared to April 2017, and the destination is currently up 9.9 percent for the fiscal year, which began October 2017.
In a written statement, Visit Panama City Beach President and CEO Dan Rowe said that the 20th annual Seabreeze Jazz Festival was sold out this year, and that the Tourism Development Council is continuing to strategize different ways to draw travelers back in all seasons.
A new digital campaign targeted visitors in key markets, showcasing the destination’s beaches and activities and encouraging everyone to “Make it Yours” when it comes to a trip to Panama City Beach. In addition to the Seabreeze Jazz Festival, which took place over five days at the Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater at Pier Park, the new SandJam Fest presented by Pepsi, as well as Easter falling on April 1, provided a number of spring travel opportunities in the destination.
The Tourist Development Tax is a 5 percent tax on short-term rentals, including hotels and condominiums. The tax funds marketing and promotional activities led by the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. It is also used for beach cleaning and grooming, product improvement and beach renourishment.