November numbers show tourism increase for South Walton off season

SOUTH WALTON, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - If you noticed more people in South Walton during the holiday season, it wasn't just you.

Visit South Walton released its November numbers at Tuesday's county commission meeting and they said tourism was up.

"This is something that is really good news, because it's the time we want to see an increase in travel," Director of Communication for Visit South Walton David Demarest said.

In fact, it was up 26 percent from the year before, and seven percent year over year.

"What I think... we're seeing is a lot more holiday travel by families, so November is a great time to come for Thanskgiving and if you're around the neighborhoods of South Walton during that time, you saw a lot of traffic and a lot of happy families and people coming to enjoy the area during their vacation," Demarest said.

Tourism officials say they believe the increase is due to more people discovering South Walton as a year-round vacation destination.

"The best part about growing shoulder season is we see an increase in year-round visitation that way without increasing those peak crowds. We want to keep those businesses going strong, we want to keep the economy going strong and that's what happens when we get these growth points in the shoulder season," Demarest added.