Tourism officials are keeping a close eye on the number of people visiting the area.

With spring break officially underway, Walton County’s Tourism Development Council Director, Sonny Mares, has high hopes for a busy season.

"Well our expectations are really high. I've talked to a lot of property management companies and they're getting a lot of telephone calls and they say people are shopping for the best deals they can find," Mares says.

Employees at Resort Quest say-vacationers seem to have found the bargains they were hunting for right here along The Emerald Coast.

Don Jones is Resort Quests General Manager for the Couth Walton region. He says the steady stream of visitors stopping by the office, booking trips, has everyone excited about the upcoming months.

"We enjoy our winter guests. They are some of the best guest anyone could ask for, but there's a new kind of energy that comes with spring break."

Even lifeguards are preparing for the spring break season, which for them, starts on Saturday.

"This is their second to last day of training. Tomorrow they will be finishing up on their drills and routines. By tomorrow, they will have completed 88 hours of U.S.L.A. orientation and training,” say South Walton’s Beach Safety Director, Gary Wise

So where is this year's popular vacation spot?

Travel agents say, families plan to visit the beaches of South Walton, but their final destination seems to be none other than Panama City Beach.

Jones says, "Tidewater and Pallazzio. Those two buildings are showing 98% occupancy in mid-April which is when Jazz Fest will be there."

Tourism officials along the coast say, it doesn't matter where visitors end up, as long as they come.

"We’ve helped polish the beaches. We're ready," Says Mares.

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