It's not just seasonal businesses that are hiring in Panama City Beach. Over the course of the next few months, the Convention and Visitors Bureau will increase its staff by 35%.
At Tuesday's combined board meeting of the CVB and Bay County Tourist Development Council, members decided it's time to commit more resources to efforts to grow tourism.
"As we've grown the destination, our staffing levels remained relatively flat for the last five or six years," said Chairman Andy Phillips. "It's time that we really beef up the staff and continue to supplement that to bring new visitors."
Executive Director Dan Rowe and his 16 person staff are responsible for promoting the beach to an estimated six million tourists each year. The marketing budget has tripled to $15 million in the past five years and Rowe said his organization's staffing lags behind other bureaus of its size.
"My staff does a great job with what they're doing," said Rowe. "We reach out and we do a lot of stuff but we need more people because it's getting more complex." Rowe said the most pressing needs are in special events management, sales, public relations and business development.
Six new staffers will be hired this year – four new positions and two previously approved but unfilled jobs. Phillips said all costs are already included in the 2013 budget.