2011 travel guides across the board are calling Panama City Beach a top value destination—comparing it with vacations in Europe and South America.
AOL Travel, Budget Travel Magazine, CNN are all naming Panama City Beach the place to vacation on a budget.
“It’s all good news and we’re so excited to get those acknowledgements and those accolades,” said Tourist Development Council Director Dan Rowe.
The good national press could be the help the beach is looking for to recover from the oil spill.
One of the reasons it’s making the list: the new airport.
“It expands our reach. We have been a great drive to destination for generations now people across the country can experience Panama City Beach,” Rowe said.
Now that people can get here more affordably, Rowe says they will see all of the values we’ve always had like reasonable hotel and condo rates.
“You can rent a condo on the beach here more affordably than you can a lot of other beach destinations across the state of Florida,” he said.
The Palmetto Inn offers rates across the street from the beach for $60 a night and waterfront for $75 dollars a night. They’ve had to keep their rates low to compete.
“With the bad publicity from the oil spill we are trying to keep our rates lower,” said Palmetto Inn’s owner, Pattie Hughes.
Tourists say the low cost of living combined with the low rates keep them coming back.
“That’s one reason I come down here because it is so reasonable. It might be a little cooler than south Florida but it’s so nice here,” said tourist Dick Ramm.
The Palmetto Inn is counting on the attention to make up for last season’s losses.
“We hope people will come down to enjoy our beautiful beaches: no oil, no tar balls,” said Hughes.