Memorial Tourism Boom

By: Courtney Hayes
By: Courtney Hayes

For some, celebrating those who fought for our freedom is synonymous with fun in the sun.

"We are very pleased with Panama City Beach. There are lots of fun things to do for the family. The beaches are clean," says Annette Studdard.

The Studdard family came to the beach for Memorial Day and decided to stay till Thursday. School's early release is the reason why.

"School schedule really determines our capacity at Holiday Inn. We anticipate being sold out or close to it for the rest of the week," says Philip Colvin, the Holiday Inn Sunspree manager.

If this weekend’s crowded beaches are any indication of things to come, beach businesses will fare well this tourism season.

"It was really crowded this weekend. We compared the numbers and it seems to be up this year and weekend coming into it seems to be up," says Eric Buskell of Pineapple Willy's restaurant.

It's good news for businesses unsure of how last season's hurricanes would effect the tourism industry. The Studdards aren't only staying longer, they say they plan to spend more and next year they'll be back.

We'll get a better idea of how the tourism industry fared this Memorial Day weekend when bed tax numbers come in later this week.


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