Pensacola Bay Area Offers Spring Breakers the Closest Beaches in Florida

Research Indicates a Strong Spring Season for the Industry
   
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Laura Lee, director of communication, Pensacola Bay Area CVB,
(850) 434-1234; (800) 874-1234, llee@visitpensacola.com, or
Sara Surber, marketing and communications intern, Pensacola Bay Area CVB,
(850) 434-1234; (800) 874-1234, intern@pensacolachamber.com

Pensacola Bay Area Offers Spring Breakers the Closest Beaches in Florida

Research Indicates a Strong Spring Season for the Industry

PENSACOLA, Fla. – April 1, 2011 – This spring break, a good mix of Southern and Midwestern families and college students have been flocking to the beaches of the Pensacola Bay Area for their beauty and proximity.

The Pensacola Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau conducted visitor intercept interviews on Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key during the busiest spring break weeks in March. Research indicated a 10 percent hike in first-time visitors to the area in comparison with last year. Data also revealed that the majority of visitors were families, and the majority of those families were repeat visitors. Visit Pensacola's spring break advertising campaigns were primarily targeted toward families in the Southeast and Midwest.

"The surveys reflect a strong return of our loyal visitors, but at the same time, many travelers from states such as Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and up into Canada visited us for the first time, escaping the colder-than-usual winter to come to Florida’s first beach," said Ed Schroeder, director of Visit Pensacola. "Escambia County lodging revenues are up around 14 percent from October through January, and our survey findings give us every indication to expect solid spring numbers as well."

Approximately 169 interviews were conducted accounting for a total of 880 visitors. The top four visiting states were Alabama, Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee. Other states rounding out the top 10 were Georgia, Louisiana, Iowa, Florida, Missouri and Illinois. The main attractions this season, other than the beach, were visiting the National Naval Aviation Museum, watching the Blue Angels, revisiting the history of Fort Pickens and eating lots of seafood.

When visitors were asked why they chose Pensacola over other vacation spots, many of them said Pensacola had the most beautiful beaches along the Gulf Coast, while others appreciated its convenient locale. Many interviewees referred to Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key as "the closest beaches in Florida." The majority of college students, many of whom were first-time visitors, said they liked that the area was so laid back and relaxing compared to other destinations. Several parents commented on the family-friendly atmosphere and said they vacation here every year.

"During the survey process, we found families and college students enjoying their vacations alongside one another," said Schroeder. "The Pensacola Bay Area is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, but our growing entertainment options are attracting a younger crowd as well. Our destination offers something for everyone."

For more information about the Pensacola Bay Area or to request a visitor guide, call Visit Pensacola at (800) 874-1234 or (850) 434-1234 or go online to www.VisitPensacola.com.

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