Panama City Beach - If beach businesses want to attract spring breakers next spring, they'll have to foot the bill themselves. Tourist Development Council members decided today against contributing to a spring break marketing company.
Representatives from the Collegiate Marketing Group told Tourist Development Council members Monday morning they need more money than usual to launch a spring break advertisement campaign. They asked for $50,000 to off-set the slumping economy and the negative publicity from the BP oil spill.
But TDC members decided to stick last year's marketing strategy that heavily utilized social media.
The TDC President, Dan Rowe said, "One of the things we did last year very successfully was the balance between encouraging spring break and the kids to come and have a good time, but keeping it from defining the beach."
Board members also reiterated their wishes to attract more family-oriented business. But with March being the third biggest tourism month of the year, some say spring break cannot be ignored.
"We thought it would be better if they would've contributed to the campaign the Collegiate Marketing Group has in place because it was very affective last year, and they know how to target that demographic," business owner Jack Bishop said.
But the board felt last year's campaign was very affective and only cost $25,000. They are also hoping the addition of Southwest Airline flights will attract more visitors.
"This is the first year that Southwest Airlines will be flying into the new airport during the month of March, which we think will be very strong for that spring business because students will have a much more affordable way to get here," Rowe said.
Rowe said a large part of getting people to the beach will be affective public relations campaign in the Spring months to let people know our beaches are clean.