TDC maps beach ambassador program


A “Beach Ambassador” program aims to enhance a visitors stay with information and code enforcement with a hospitality touch.

File photo
Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 09:34 AM.

The one percent was no solution.

Having spent months examining ways to improve the conditions and safety on the county’s beaches, the Tourist Development Council advisory board got a look at a pilot program for 2014.

The program will not involve an increase in bed taxes.

That  proposal had come primarily out of the Board of County Commissioners which perceived the additional revenue generated as an augment to the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office Budget and in turn an enhanced law enforcement presence in the beaches.

That discussion was driven by several factors, most prominently an increase in petty crime in the tourist corridors and the overall condition of the beaches, particularly as it involved trash and the detritus of a vacation.

The central focus of debate was economic: could the GCSO increase its presence on the budget given current budget constraints and if not where would funds to increase that presence come.

The BOCC proposed a 1 percent increase in bed taxes; the TDC advisory board was sharply split.

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