'Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater' Launches New Era for Pinellas Tourism

Friday, October 12, 2007

It’s RIP for the CVB:

‘Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater’ Ushers in New Era for Pinellas Tourism

Sleek new logo, new direction unveiled at industry premiere

St. Petersburg/Clearwater, FL -- October 9, 2007 -- The St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau underwent a facelift and a name change last week as the 2008 marketing plans for Pinellas County’s official tourism development organization were unveiled at the St. Petersburg Hilton Carillon. 

Accompanying the CVB’s new name --- Visit St Petersburg Clearwater (VSPC) --- is a sleek, contemporary logo and an all new, expanded visitors guide. Other initiatives include the addition of Spanish, German, and French editions of the Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater web site, a marketing partnership with Orlando Sanford International Airport, the appointment of an on-staff wedding specialist and new print and broadcast ads designed to target both local and national markets. 

The campaign is the result of nearly five months of planning and research culled from focus group presentations in Orlando, New York and Chicago, as well as from staff input and the nearly 15 years of industry experience Executive Director DT Minich brings to the position.

—Our ongoing goal is to modernize the look and feel of the CVB,” says Minich, who took over the top job in May with the retirement of the organization’s former executive director, Carole Ketterhagen. —We believe this is just one step in that direction, and there will be more exciting changes to come as we move forward.”

The presentation drew a standing ovation from the more than 350 industry partners and county officials who gathered for the two-hour event.

—The industry response was overwhelming,” says Jack Guy, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Sheraton Sand Key. —And rightly so,” he adds. —It made us all feel that we are part of the exciting direction the area is headed in, and it got everybody in the tourism community on the bandwagon.” 

Others in the industry echo Guy’s sentiments. —It’s great to have the CVB reaching out to us and making sure we are all on the same page---that’s important, ” says Sheila Cole, Executive Director of the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce, adding that the new image —brings a touch of class to the destination.” 

The presentation resonated with local government officials as well. Pinellas County Tourism Development Council member Doreen Moore, who calls the campaign a —welcome breath of fresh air,” says she is particularly impressed by the initiative to make Orlando Sanford International Airport a gateway between European travelers and area beaches, and by the new visitors guide.

—Visitors will definitely use it both to plan their stay and while they are here,” says Moore of the expanded, 112-page publication. —But it’s something we’ll all want to share with friends and family, too.”

Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater is the official destination marketing organization for Pinellas County. Attached PDF image of VSPC logo and visitors guide cover approved for editorial use only. 

For more information: www.FloridasBeach.com

Contact: PR Director David Downing: David@Floridasbeach.com

Phone: 727.464.7213