Bay County TDC coming up with ways to safetly market our area

How will Bay County market to summer tourists amid the pandemic and how much will they spend? (WJHG/WECP)
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - “This is a surge to get the word out that we are open, and we are going forward,” said Bay County Tourist Development Council Executive Director Dan Rowe.

After missing out on much of the spring season due to the coronavirus, Bay County Tourist Development Council officials met Tuesday to come up with ways to get tourism in our area back on track.

“We need to be heavy on that front end and competitive with those people because they’re going to be advertising and not just in a digital platform they’re going to be all over,” said Buddy Wilkes with the Bay County Tourist Development Council.

TDC officials are coming up with ways to promote Panama City Beach safely.

“Bottom line the TDC needs it in the city of Panama City Beach because they went off the 1%. Yes, we need it,” said Bay County Tourist Development Council Chairman Phil Chester.

While some TDC officials believe fewer visitors will come due to the pandemic, others say a lot of hotels and vacation rentals are booked up. Many visitors have kept summer reservations during the outbreak, leading tourism officials to believe people are ready to come to the beach.

“People they’ve been stopped up in their house for months, and they’re ready to get out and enjoy the beach. Personally, I feel like they’ll be back in June and July also,” said Chester.

TDC officials say they project they’ll spend around 2.6 million dollars this year on marketing. Officials say they plan to promote safety and the CDC guidelines trying to attract people from non-COVID-19 hotspots.

TDC officials say their plan will also involve asking visitors to bring food and other supplies for their families, so they don’t deplete resources in our area.

They also say they plan to have their next meeting in June, but it’s possible that a meeting could be moved to the end of this month.
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