BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB)– Bay County residents have a saying, “I live where you vacation.”

Tourism is the number one industry in the area, and several local organizations are taking the time to celebrate the opportunities the industry brings to the area.

National Tourism Week takes place from May 1st through 7th, but the Bay County Chamber of Commerce and Destination Panama City are collaborating to host events all month long for locals to enjoy.

On Tourism Appreciation Day, May 6th, Destination Panama City will provide free lunch. Local food truck vendors Crepe and Cream, El Weirdo, and Havana 1980 will also be on-site and there will be live musical entertainment.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. All you have to do is show up at Destination Panama City located at 101 W. Beach Dr. and register with the staff to redeem your free lunch.

In addition to free lunch, the Bay County Chamber of Commerce will host a Cornhole Tournament on May 17th that 4 p.m. at 101 W. Beach Dr. Registration starts at $25 per team. More details on the event can be found here. After the Cornhole Tournament, there will be a Tourism After Hours event on-site with free food, spirits, and live entertainment until 6 p.m.

And for those looking to spend the afternoon golfing, the Spring Classic will be held on May 13th at Bay Point Golf Club. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. Rates start at $150 for a one-player slot. More information on the event can be found here.

Lacee Rudd, the Public Relations Manager for Visit Panama City Beach said it’s important to reflect on tourism and its importance in the community as many as one out of six people are involved within the industry in Bay county.

“For every 91 visitors, that supports one full-time job for a person in Bay county,” Rudd said.

On top of that, Rudd said the visitors that come to Bay county are typically loyal to the area, returning twice a year for an average of 21 years.