Miami-Dade County may soon get some stiff competition in attracting naked tourists. Pasco County, located just north of Tampa Bay, is considering using tax dollars to actively promote its numerous nudist resorts to rich European travelers looking to expose every last inch of their skin to the warm Florida sun.
The Pasco Area Nudist Development Association (aka PANDA) first approached the county's tourism board in 2008. At the time they were denied, but the county didn't shut down the idea of future partnerships.
"The first time they came to us, they were just starting their organization and they were looking to partner with the county," Tourism Director Eric Keaton tells the Tampa Tribune. "We told them to regroup and come up with a better plan of action."
Since then PANDA, which represents about a dozen nudist retreats in the county, has heightened its visibility in the community by joining the chamber of commerce and increasing its philanthropic activity. Now they've come back to the county and are asking for a $4,000 grant.
The money would be used to attract English and German nudists to visit Pasco in the slower months of July and August.
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The county commission is quite open to the idea as long as the campaign actually brings more tourism dollars to the county. The commission's response shouldn't be surprising giving the amount of schemes floating around in desperate Florida right now to attract more tourists (*cough* *cough* casinos).
Maybe it's not such a bad idea. Maybe Miami should get in on this. We mean, topless bathing is permitted on Miami Beach, and Haulover Beach is one of the few officially sanctioned public nude beaches in the country. We already do attract a number of Europeans, maybe we can get more if we encourage them to get naked?
In fact, local nudist groups claim that Haulover attracts more tourists to Miami-Dade then the Dolphins and Marlins combined. Considering how much we just shelled out to the Marlins for a new stadium, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to take Pasco's lead.