It could be called friendly competition- or marketing. But Tourist Development Council (T.D.C) officials in Jackson and Washington counties said they were just hoping to call the launch of their new bus tours program a success.
"Let's get some people into town and not necessarily take them from the beach, just enhance their trip" said Jackson County T.D.C. Director, Pam Fuqua.
On the first and third Mondays in February, the Jackson County T.D.C. will run a day-trip bus excursion to Florida Caverns State Park, Confederate Park and on a tour of historic homes in Marianna.
On the second and fourth Mondays, the Washington County T.D.C. will run a bus to a living history exhibit at the Chipley History Museum, a tour of Falling Waters State Park, a tour of Moss Hill Church, and to Three Oaks Winery in the Vernon area.
T.D.C. officials said they hoped the tours would show visitors some of the Panhandle's inland beauty.
"They don't realize what's here" Fuqua said. "They're driving to the beach to see the beautiful water, but here in our rural area, we have a lot of nature and historical wonders and we want them to see it."
Depending on the turn-out, both T.D.C.'s could begin providing bus tours on a regular basis and for different occasions.
"This is a marketing test" explained Washington County T.D.C. Director, Heather Lopez. We're trying to just test the waters and see what kind of interest we can build with this before we actually take off with the program."
Monday, February 4- Jackson County
Monday, February 11- Washington County
Monday, February 18- Jackson County
Monday, February 25- Washington County
All tours will leave at 8 a.m. from the Grand Panama Resort on Front Beach Road, and return at 4 p.m. Tickets are $35 and do not include lunch. Participants can choose and purchase lunch from a downtown restaurant while on the tour. Preregistration is required, as there are only 24 seats available. For more information contact:
Jackson County T.D.C. (850) 482-8061
Washington County T.D.C. (850) 638-6013