Tourist spending tops $1 billion in Walton County during winter months

South Walton tourism is up during the winter months.
South Walton tourism is up during the winter months.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Apr. 17, 2021 at 3:40 PM CDT
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -One billion dollars in three months.

That’s how much tourists spent in South Walton from December 2020 to February 2021.

A 26 percent increase from the previous year.

CEO of Key Data Dashboard Jason Sprenkle said that’s not going to stop.

The data his company has collected shows a significant increase in projected tourism from 2019 to 2021.

“I think if you look across the US, you’re really seeing vacation rentals have a phenomenal year if you think about it, other lodging options, you still have cruises shut down, international travel, for the most part, is shut down,” said Sprenkle.

Local restaurants and boutiques are seeing the economic impact firsthand.

“Business has actually been fantastic for us. You know we really haven’t seen a downturn. We’ve been really fortunate with Florida not having a lot of mandates or restrictions. It seems like people are really liking coming to Florida,” said Monica Dezell at Luminary.

They add that they are seeing more people from states that have been closed.

“It’s great to see. We just had a family come down from Michigan and they haven’t been to a restaurant in 13 months, which is wild for us to think about because we never really had that full quarantine period in this area,” said Jordin Corchis, general manager of Amici/Amigos 30A.

The cost of rentals in south Walton has also gone up by about 44 percent.

Copyright 2021 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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