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Airline Uses Tax Dollars for Marketing
01/12/10 - 06:25 PM
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Kevin Character - bio
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click for larger image Bay County, Fla:

Southwest Airlines announced coming to Panama City beach about six weeks ago. Now the city is turning over tax dollars to help Southwest with advertising.

The Bay and Walton County Tourism Development Commissions met Tuesday to discuss what Southwest Airlines plans to do to market tourism in Panama City Beach.  Funding for advertising is coming from bed (hotel) taxes.  One cent of the four bed tax cents, used for beach marketing, will go to Southwest Airlines.

Bed tax revenue for the Panhandle dropped about 3 percent in 2009. TDC director Dan Rowe says however, taxes collected in Panama City Beach went up over 2 percent.

Business leaders like Andy Phillips are confident in what Southwest Airlines will do with all the cash.

“You see Southwest every time you turn on the TV,” Phillips said. “Whether it’s National Football Championships, whether it’s the Superbowl, bags fly free, you name it, they are experts at what they do.”

TDC director Dan Rowe says he hopes the relationship with Southwest Airlines will create a brand for Panama City Beach.

The advertising platforms haven’t been released yet. Rowe expects the new marketing campaign to launch in April in several Southwest Airline destinations. 

User Comments

Oh Really, Right on! Maybe they should let the TDC members pay for this fiasco out of their own pockets and keep their money grubbin’ paws out of ours! As String said, there is more to bay County than the beaches and maybe, just maybe, one day somebody that’s not sitting on their brains will realize it!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/13  at  07:30 AM

Let just give any one our tax money for the Beach, there is more to bay county than the beach. We do not need to give our tax money to any company, without having control on what and how the money is spend.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/12  at  09:33 PM

It takes an extraordinary amount of chutzpah (that’s cojones for y’all on the west end) to flow tax dollars into an advertising campaign for an airline. Collected taxes should be used for the collective good…..not for some outfit whose revenues could buy and sell Bay County several times over. It continually amazes me that Bay County constituents (most of whom are hurting) will allow this to happen. Here’s a suggestion for the TDC: If you want to give all that money to Southwest, please buy a ticket with it and fly your sorry butts to whatever city Southwest services…..............then STAY THERE.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/12  at  08:48 PM
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