Early reports suggest PCB tourism on rise
A preliminary visitor profile report — presented at a combined Bay County Tourist Development Council (TDC) and Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau meeting on Tuesday — showed Panama City Beach is still a popular destination for visitors.
The profile “demonstrates there is a lot of interest in Panama City Beach as a destination each year,” said TDC Executive Director Dan Rowe.
Preliminary data shows travel parties and total overnight visitor spending increased by 8-10 percent; lodging and rental average daily rates increased by 4-7 percent; lodging and rental occupancy increased by 4-8 percent; and the tourist development tax increased by 13.5-20.97 percent last year.
“The preliminary numbers show we are attracting additional visitors to the beach,” he said. “We’re keeping hotels and condos full and busy.”
Hotels and lodging dominated the presentation. Hotels in the area tend to track a lot of detail for the profile, said Berkeley Young, President of Young Strategies Inc., the company that produced the report. Operations like the Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn and Fairfield Inn have been some of the most recently added lodging facilities over the past decades, and they have made an impact on the Beach, Young said.
“For chain-affiliated hotels to build here is a positive sign for this market,” he said. “National hotels see (Panama City Beach) as a growing market.”
Young said officials will have to look at the impact the newer hotels have on lodging facilities that have been located on the beach for a longer time. He mentioned some older establishments had more vacant rooms, since the more recent hotels arrived.
The study is based on reports from tourist development tax revenue, interviews, STR hotel data, VisaVue data, DestiMetrics, Inntopia, and AirDNA data, as well as nearly 2,000 surveys from 2017 Young Strategies compiled. More surveys will be added to the final report, and rental and lodging representatives will be consulted to compare the data Young Strategies, Inc. collected, Young said
The official visitor profile will be presented in March.
Source: Panama City News Herald