Visit South Walton Celebrates Award-Winning Spring Creative Awards Plus Record March Revenue for Northwest Florida Beach Destination

SOUTH WALTON, Fla., May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Visit South Walton is the proud recipient of 11 creative awards for marketing efforts designed to attract visitors to the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast beach destination.  The awards, coupled with recently released record tourism revenue for March, reflect the continued success of those efforts.

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Visit South Walton Executive Director Dawn Moliterno says the accolades and revenues are the result of careful planning and implementation. "Many people worked diligently over the past year to establish the South Walton brand in major markets.  These awards, combined with revenue for the period, provide third-party validation that our marketing and media strategies are working as intended.  Grant funding from BP was enormously helpful in supplementing our core budget, allowing us to pursue strategic concepts not otherwise feasible.  Now that the funds have been completely deployed, we can celebrate record revenue for the period and the added bonus of recognition for creative expertise."

The beach destination received awards from the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) – Northwest Florida and Orlando chapters, and American Advertising Federation (AAF) –Charlotte, NC, and Region 3 (NC,SC and VA) chapters.  For the complete list of awards, go to http://www.visitsouthwalton.com/press-releases.

Recently released bed-tax revenues for March 2012 reflect a 33 percent increase over 2011, a 58 percent increase over 2010, and a 31 percent increase over the previous record set in 2008.  March marks 13 straight months of double-digit increases.  The economic impact of tourism in Walton County was an estimated $1 billion in fiscal 2011.

In addition to carrying out its mission to market the destination, Visit South Walton also oversees beach maintenance along its 26 miles of coastline, which includes eight lifeguard locations manned throughout the spring and summer seasons.  The organization has also secured more than $10 million in grants for beach nourishment since 1998.

About South Walton:

Located along a 26-mile stretch in Northwest Florida, South Walton encompasses an unparalleled strand of 15 distinct beach neighborhoods, each with its own distinct traditions, charm and visual style.  Renowned for natural scenic beauty, turquoise waters and sugar sand beaches, South Walton was chosen as one of Yahoo Travel's Top 10 Beaches for 2011.  An upscale, yet casual, place to unwind, rejuvenate and build lasting memories, it is here that visitors find their perfect beach.  Learn more at VisitSouthWalton.com.

SOURCE Visit South Walton



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