PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach and the Bay County area remain as top tourist destinations for those living in the Southeastern United States, according to a recent survey the Bay County TDC conducted.

Tourist Development Council Executive Director Dan Rowe said the survey was implemented throughout the past two months, asking people from “target markets” like Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee about recent visits to the area and their travel throughout the pandemic.

According to the results, many Bay County visitors found the beach as a place to unplug and relax.

The TDC continues to focus efforts on reminding tourists to help enforce social distancing and CDC guidelines while they visit the area, Rowe said.

He believes the added visitors throughout the summer will help Bay County’s economy long-term.

“We have seen our growth through the summer and into the fall is much better than the initial estimates were when we first started the pandemic,” Rowe said. “So, we think that our trends will continue and we’ll be suited better than most of the destinations around the country in terms of its ability to get its economy back.”

He also added changes to many school and university schedules could change the typical visitor pattern the area sees throughout the fall and winter.