This year is the second year the Tourist Development Council of Santa Rosa County received a grant from the Deepwater Horizon fund of British Petroleum (BP) according to Santa Rosa County Commissioner Jim Melvin. The grant totals $491,000 dollars according to Kate Wilkes of the Navarre Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council (TDC). Melvin said the money is used to recover tourism dollars in our area after the BP oil spill of 2010, and is subject to county regulations.

Wilkes said the money is all for marketing: print, digital, radio ads, television, and various seasonal events.

She said the TDC generally earns its money to promote tourism in the county from a bed tax, a tax added to the price of a hotel room, of four percent for stays less than six months.  Wilkes said the county appoints who sits on the TDC, which acts as an advisory council to the county commissioners.