Panama City Beach gears up for tourism season kickoff

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Throughout Hurricane Michael recovery Panama City Beach has housed contractors, volunteers, and displaced hurricane victims. But starting next month it'll be welcoming a new group of people... tourists.

At Tuesday’s Bay County Tourist Development Council and Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau board meeting, the updated Visit Panama City Beach website was unveiled. Its marketing team also announced new partnerships with big names like Pandora and Thrillist.

Executive Director of the Tourist Development Council, Dan Rowe, says advertising spending increased 25 percent.

A major topic of discussion at the meeting? Conveying the message to tourists that Panama City Beach is alive and well. Rowe said, "We need that visitor spending to continue to drive jobs, keep people employed, to keep livelihoods going on. So making sure that everyone has a good understanding that the beach is ready and we're just like we were on October the 9th."

It was also announced at the meeting that Visit Panama City Beach received the Visit Florida grant of $250,000 which will go toward marketing efforts.