Panama City Beach tourism industry losing up to $315 million this year

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The local tourism industry is taking a hit unlike ever before.

Panama City Beach is losing millions of dollars due to loses in the tourism industry brought on by COVID-19. (WJHG/WECP)

According to the Panama City Beach Tourist Development Council, the area is missing out on about $270 million to $315 million from canceled events like SandJam, UNwineD and Seabreeze Jazz Festival.

With those events come tourists and others utilizing the area’s service and hospitality industry.

During Thursday’s city council meeting Councilman Hector Solis encouraged local citizens to find other ways to support small businesses.

"What we’re asking is if you can take a look in your heart, and if you can financially, one of the ways to make sure that we can help our local businesses is for you to buy gift cards, gift certificates to restaurants - your favorite restaurants that you come to. If you really want to make sure they’re there when you come back this time, that would help,” said Solis.

Solis said 55% of the city’s general budget is based off of tourism, so not having that added revenue adversely affects the city government.

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