Spring Break Launches Tourist Season

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Panama City Beach is a hotbed for spring breakers. Though many are back in school, it doesn't mean the season is slowing down.

"Panama City Beach is very dependent on tourism. Spring break is really the beginning of our tourist season,” explained Susan Estler, marketing Vice President of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Restaurants and hotels said traffic remains steady. Now, the season is transitioning from college students to families. This year, the Visitors Bureau saw families coming down earlier than previous years. They are also seeing snowbirds stay even longer.

“We think it was our best ever spring break,” stated Estler.

She thinks this season has been busier than others because BP's oil spill put Panama City on the map. Now that they've cleaned up their beaches, they're bringing something else to the area that might bump up tourism even more.

Estler said, “The CVB gave the funds from BP to the city of Panama City Beach so they could build the amphitheater so we're very excited to have a new venue for concerts and so on.”

The amphitheater’s grand opening is set for Friday, April 5th. The city hopes this year's spring break is foreshadowing what the summer will look like.

“Everything went really well this year so we're hoping this will be a kick off to a great season for Panama City Beach,” Estler expressed.

It’s good news for the city’s economy and great news for tourists.

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