Tourism back on track, surpassing pre-storm numbers

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)–Bay County is right on track to reaching pre-storm tourism numbers and surpassing them when it comes to Tourist Development Tax collections.

The Tourist Development Council reported that for October and November, both Panama City Beach and Panama City reported higher numbers than then they did during those same months in 2017.

The TDC says they are now starting to figure out where they are in terms of ‘real growth’ post Hurricane Michael.

After the storm they had to factor in different living arrangements for residents as well as contractors moving into town.

But now, TDC Executive Director Dan Rowe, says they’re able get a real gauge of where our community is heading.

“So what it shows is that Hurricane Michael is clearly in our rearview mirror and that the beach is back and fully operational and we expect this year to look just like all of the other years that we had you know where we are busy in the spring and the summer and the fall and you know are continuing to grow in the winter,” Rowe said.

Rowe says that Panama City Beach was up 15% year over year for October and November and Panama City was up well over 20% for that 2 month period.

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