Panelists talk about the future of tourism in Walton County

Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 03:18 PM.

Bagby hopes the half-cent tax passed five years ago will continue and be used for maintenance, operations and the bike paths.

Atlanta , Birmingham , New Orleans , and Montgomery , all are staple visitors to this area.

The TDC is currently working to bring more visitors from Nashville , Dallas , Houston , and Fort Worth -- areas that have been under represented here.

The largest population of visitors have consistently come from Atlanta .

The fasting growing in new visitors is the Dallas / Fort Worth area. Direct flights from there to Panama City will help get them here, said Bagby. Direct flights from ECP to Nashville has proven helpful.

Chicago is also a growing entity.

"Once you come, you keep coming back until you buy," said Bagby. "The future of tourism in Walton County will continue to be stable and will begin to be populated by full-time residents. When a survey was taken at Rosemary Beach, 58 percent of people who bought there said they planned to retire here."

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