Tourism on the Rise on "The Forgotten Coast" - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Tourism on the Rise on "The Forgotten Coast"

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Gulf County and its neighboring coastlines are typically called "The Forgotten Coast." The state of Florida literally left the coastline off the map.

But after months of research, the Gulf County Tourist Development Council is working to make sure no one forgets about the area.

"We are this last little bastion of sanity, and people are finding out about it and realizing they can go scalloping and go fishing and take and eco tour," said Jason Bogan, the "Director of Fungineering" at Port Inn.

The inn is nestled right in the heart of Port St. Joe on what many call The Forgotten Coast.

"We're sort of tweaking that now. We're taking the word forgotten and not saying oh people forget us and saying when you get here you forget how great it is to walk on the beach and pick shells or sit on the porch and read a book and just breathe," said Jennifer Jenkins, the TDC Executive Director.

The new promotion and months of target research are bringing in more visitors to Gulf County. It saw its tourism revenue rise with the last fiscal year bringing in about a 12.4 percent increase compared to the last year.

The Port Inn is also seeing bookings rise and also expects a busy summer. "Their efforts, their work is a direct correlation with our booking, and I think the method that they're using, kind of getting away from print and traditional media and a lot of social media, with a small budget like we have, they have to," said Bogan.

Bogan also said business is staying strong for six or seven months instead of the typical three months during the year.

While more business is always a goal, the TDC also wants people to know the area isn't changing. "We're never going to be crowded. We're not going to have high rises. Our visitor comes here to interact with our water all year round, whether their in it, on it, looking at it, or their back home dreaming about it. They get here to come and play in our waters," said Jenkins.

The TDC partners with local businesses like the Port Inn to provide information to visitors.