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Panama City, Florida seeks to rehabilitate its reputation

After a series of negative headlines on this year's Spring break festivities at Panama City, local officials are looking to rebuild the city's damaged reputation. County Manager Bob Majika is said to be planning a marketing strategy to counter the negative headlines and a recent ban on alcohol on the beach during the month March has been approved.

Panama City, Florida seeks to rehabilitate its reputation

A series of incidents during this year's Spring Break has led to a PR disaster for Panama City and has led local officials to take serious measures to repair its reputation. Every year, thousands of university students flock to Panama City Beach for their Spring break holidays.

This March however, the festivities took a turn for the worse with stories of gunfire at a local house party and a separate incident where a sexual assault on the beach made headlines.

Panama City's County Manager Bob Majka stated:

"... the damage is not just to the tourism industry ..."

He noted that not only does Panama City face the likelihood of fewer travellers booking holidays but also a potential decline in home sales and even business relocation.

After weighing the potential fallout of this year's raucous Spring break season, Majka is now said to be considering employing the services of marketing executive Jerry Ray and attorney William Harrison to develop a national and even an international marketing strategy to counter the negative headlines.

Mr. Ray has stated, that if he were to be contracted, the goal would be to restore Panama City to its former glory rather than rebrand the popular holiday destination entirely. He said:

"Your brand is what expect from you. It is a promise. And people judge a brand by the way it keeps-or breaks-its promises".

In the meantime, several media outlets reported that Panama City Beach leaders voted for a ban against the drinking of alcohol during the month of March and on Tuesday 12th May 2015 the ban was approved by the city council. Some of the owners of hotels in Panama as well as other members of the hospitality industry have raised objections to the all out ban in fear of losing out on the revenue generated during spring break.

However, supporters of the ban claim that families travellers during the winter months spend more money than the students during Spring Break.

"March is not what it's made out to be. We're told that [spring break] means all this economic stimulus to the area, and it's going to the few, it's not going to the many"

Stated one supporter of the ban. Only time will tell if Panama City is able to rebuild its reputation without simultaneously chipping away at its economy.

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