What is the Bay County Bed Tax

We talk a lot about Bed Tax around here, because largely it’s a fairly accurate snapshot of the vitality of our tourism industry.  Bed Tax, or officially known as the Bay County Tourist Development Tax, is a tax on revenue generated from tourism accommodations rentals.  In other words, if a property charges $1000 base rent rate, there is an additional 5% bed tax charged on top of that, or $50, which is collected and managed by the Bay County Clerk of the Court and Comptroller, Bill Kinsaul.

What the bed tax is used for.

To understand what the bed tax is used for, we need to break down what every percentage is apportioned to.

The first 3 points are specifically designated to be used “for advertising and promotion of Panama City Beach, Florida as a tourist destination, beach cleaning and maintenance and product improvement of the area.”  Then “1% of the monies collected are dedicated to the beach renourishment project and for the on-going maintenance of the renourishment. [And]1% of the monies collected are dedicated to supporting low cost air service and promoting the area nationally and internationally.”

Further clarification from Dan Rowe, CEO of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau: “The third cent goes to beach renourishment. The 5th is for cooperative marketing with low fare carriers flying into ECP. The CVB is funded from the other 3 cents, as is beach maintenance, landscaping, etc.”

The original base bed tax rate was 3%, but it was increased to 5% in February of 2009 in what was a dramatic series of public workshops and meetings.  The decision went through a litany of discussions in boards that ranged from local home owner’s associations (whether they would support it) to Tourist Development Council meetings, with the ultimate decision being on the shoulders of the Bay County Commission.

Read the 5th cent increase article here. 

Originally determined in the county commission meetings in which the bed tax increase was proposed, the 4th cent increase had no “sunset clause” – meaning it would never expire.  The 5th cent increase had a sunset clause that was to expire its collection in April of 2013, however that sunset clause was removed this morning in a regularly held County Commission meeting.

At this point, the bed tax rate will remain at 5% indefinitely.

Foreclosures & Summertime Dreaming on The Beach Show

1.  Deal #1 is a Wild Heron Foreclosed bungalow for only $279,900
2,496 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths
Gated neighborhood of Wild Heron located on Lake Powell with amazing amenities
Fitness center, Kayaks, canoes, fishing, swimming pool, boat house, walking trails and 24 hour security
2. Deal #2 is a beautiful Gulf front community home for only $765,000
Summertime Dreaming is an amazing beach home with a guest house
Pool with beautiful architecture and landscape
Over 2,000 square feet and total of 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths
Several walk overs to the beach with 3 pools and playground, tennis courts and 24 hour guarded gate
3. Deal 3 is move in ready GREAT investment condo for $224,900
EXCELLENT rental potential with a fully furnished Beachy Beach FUN
Beautiful pool with murals and great access to your beach front with excellent views
Near the water park making it a family fun spot

January PCB Tourism Interest Activity Up

Jason Koertge has an awesome vacation rental business in Panama City Beach that focuses on remarkable properties right on the gulf.  They range from 1 to 4 bedrooms, they’re clean, and amazing.  He can be found lurking at PCBLP.com.

All signs are pointing to a great tourism season in Panama City Beach.  Last year we had record breaking numbers and we expect much the same for the 2012 tourism season.

Many of our rental condos at PCBLP are booked up all summer already and we’re hearing much the same from our industry partners.

Visitor Service Inquiries and Web Site Activity

On a monthly basis, tourists from around the country (and the globe) inquire on more information about Panama City Beach through a variety of sources.  The numbers below are approximate, here are the top 5.

  • Website Inquiries: 3,500
  • Rea.Fun.Beach.Club ’11/’12: 2,250
  • Oprah Magazine: 2,150
  • Compass Family Travel: 1,750
  • Beach Chamber of Commerce: 600

Website Activity

A couple years ago the Tourist Development Council (TDC) launched a new website and a whole new effort to market the beach.  The campaign, dubbed Real.Fun.Beach has done loads in acquiring visibility for our little tourist town.  And through the BP disaster and the subsequent compensatory marketing funds that came from it, they captured the attention of national media time and time again.

January 2011 activity

  • Number of visits: 93,430
  • Length of session: 4 minutes 22 seconds
  • Pageviews per visit: 5.85
  • Unique visitors: 77,222

January 2012 activity

  • Number of visits: 119,220
  • Length of session: 3 minutes 57 seconds
  • Pageviews per visit: 4.9
  • Unique visitors: 98,241

Top website visitor states

  1. Florida
  2. Georgia
  3. Texas
  4. Alabama
  5. Tennessee
  6. Illinois
  7. Ohio
  8. Indiana
  9. Kentucky
  10. Michigan

Top visitor service inquiry states

  1. Georgia
  2. Tennessee
  3. Ontario
  4. Ohio
  5. Florida
  6. Alabama
  7. Indiana
  8. Illinois
  9. Michigan
  10. Kentucky

2011 Visitor Interest in Panama City Beach Grows over 2010

Whatever complexities involved in the comprehensive marketing plan the TDC has in effect, it’s working.

Visitor inquiry, visitation and general interest is up this year over last, and the activity in Panama City Beach reflects it.

Following this article, we’ll discuss the bed tax revenue, and take a good look at the actual numbers behind this year’s growth, but for now, we’re going to take a look at some stats on interest as it related to visitation, inquiries and Likes.

Total Website visitation

The Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau made the tough decision a couple short years ago to abandon their previous web host and seek a new one, along with a fresh new look.  They rebuilt the website with the help of Jennifer Barbie Inc, and enacted a whole new marketing plan that was charged with revitalizing PCB’s image. Two years later, traffic to the website has grown tremendously and the area’s branding has burned the image of our sugar white sands and emerald green waters into the minds of millions, literally.

Traffic to the website in 2011

  • July – 184,148 (15% increase)
  • June – 174,726 (22% decrease)
  • May – 142,845 (17% increase)
  • April – 123,976 (26% increase)
  • March – 179,553 (53% increase)

Traffic to the website in 2010

  • July – 159,567
  • June – 225,557 (oil spill spike)
  • May – 122,440
  • April – 98,342
  • March – 117,039
Website visitation top states


  1. Florida
  2. Georgia
  3. Alabama
  4. Tennessee
  5. Texas
  6. Kentucky


  1. Georgia
  2. Florida
  3. Alabama
  4. Tennessee
  5. Texas
  6. Kentucky


  1. Georgia
  2. Florida
  3. Alabama
  4. Tennessee
  5. Texas
  6. Kentucky


  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Illinois


  1. Florida
  2. Georgia
  3. Alabama
  4. Tennessee
  5. Texas
  6. Illinois
Facebook page keeps growing, and growing, and growing

One of the things that’s been really unique in the Panama City Beach marketing plan has been the growth of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s Facebook Page, VisitPanamaCityBeach.  Every since the beginning, it’s been growing leaps and bounds, like a snowball, and has never ceased.

They have set records, garnered the attention of Facebook corporate and have been an example of what to do in a successful campaign over and over again.  Currently they are at 219,753 Likes.

Here is a breakdown of their growth over the last year. The number shown indicated the total number of Likes at that point in time.


  • July – 218,159 (136% increase)
  • June – 211,355 (157% increase)
  • May – 203,721 (181% increase)
  • April – 195,380 (187% increase)
  • March – 188,066 (202% increase)


  • July – 92,336
  • June – 82,213
  • May – 72,582
  • April – 67,968
  • March – 62,250
Visitors Services Inquiries

Each day, the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau fields inquiries via phone, email, walk-ins, physical letters and faxes.  Inquires consist of info for making vacation plans, information on group travel, general tourist information, etc.

Here is a breakdown of the inquiries over the last 5 months in the top six states. Numbers are approximate based on the report we received.


  • Georgia – 800
  • Alabama – 600
  • Tennessee – 550
  • Florida – 450
  • Texas – 425
  • Kentucky – 350


  • Georgia – 1300
  • Tennessee – 950
  • Alabama – 750
  • Texas – 650
  • Kentucky – 550
  • Indiana – 425


  • Michigan – 3400
  • Illinois – 2500
  • Wisconsin – 1800
  • Indiana – 1700
  • Ohio – 1600
  • Georgia – 1500


  • Tennessee – 2900
  • Georgia – 1100
  • Alabama – 700
  • Texas – 600
  • Florida – 600
  • Illinois – 500


  • Georgia – 1100
  • Tennessee – 900
  • Alabama – 650
  • Florida – 625
  • Texas – 600
  • Kentucky – 550


PCB’s Beaches Ranked #3 in US and #12 in World

We’ve long been known as the world’s most beautiful beaches, and it’s not because our beaches are acceptable, or mediocre, or that they are “fine”.  Are beaches are considered the best because they are just simply beautiful.  The emerald green waters that during most times of the year are crystal clear – all framed by our snow-white sand – make our area a place people literally come from all over to visit.

Continue reading “PCB’s Beaches Ranked #3 in US and #12 in World”

TDC/CVB Meeting- 2011 Marketing Plans

TDC/CVB Feb 8 meeting offered an in-depth look into the 2011 marketing strategies as well as an opportunity to check out the newest TV Commercials.

The Real. Fun. Beach commercials were created to hit specific markets and have two versions in rotation, aimed at targeting Couples and Families.

More Info Below

Continue reading “TDC/CVB Meeting- 2011 Marketing Plans”

Join CVB to Showcase PCB via Skype!

Panama City Beach CVB to showcase its sunny weather and sugar-white sand beaches to national media via Skype!

CVB officials are hosting a video conference via Skype for national media in New York City, and the CVB wants YOU to join them!

Details Below, Time Sensitive (Event is TODAY at Noon)

Continue reading “Join CVB to Showcase PCB via Skype!”

2011 Tourism Predictions – Resorts

This is the second article in a series that explores 2011 Tourism Predictions for Panama City Beach.

We’ve checked in with the airport, and now it’s time to turn our questioning minds to the resorts.

In an effort to snag an idea of early predictions for the 2011 season, we touched base for a little Q & A session, with Paul Wohlford, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the Resort Collection of Panama City Beach.

Continue reading “2011 Tourism Predictions – Resorts”