Fourth of July brings tons of tourists

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Tourism has been booming this Fourth of July weekend, along with the fireworks. Although the holiday has come and gone, tourists still continue to cover our beaches.

Tourists covered our beaches this past weekend for the Fourth of July holiday. (WJHG/WECP)

"The beach is full and the roads, so I think all the merchants, all the restaurants, everybody did really well. There was a lot of big family groups down this weekend, more so I think than normal," said Mayor of Panama City Beach Mike Thomas.

Thomas said he thinks more tourists continue to come to our area with each passing year.

"We prepare for a big game every play, you have to be ready for this or you get in trouble, and I think that this is what we expected...it's busy. Bay County needed everybody to be busy and take in some money this week so I think it'll help everybody," said Thomas.

As a restaurant owner, he said his business, and others, have been as busy as ever this past weekend.

"Fourth of July is always a big week, before and a week after. I tell people this all the time: people work horrible jobs all year long to come to Bay County for one week. We need to treat them right and make sure they come back," said Thomas.

And for him, he said the many tourists are a great sign.

"It's been full of people a lot, but now it's full of families, and that's what we worked so hard to do, and it's working. A lot of people criticized us when we made these changes but what we did is making a difference in Bay County, not just Panama City Beach, and I think it's good," said Thomas.

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