Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 2:47pm
St. Pete/Clearwater (March 24, 2015) - A feature touting the winners of the annual "Best of St. Pete/Clearwater" poll, a cutting edge app that brings print pages to life and an all-new pull-out "Top Restaurant" guide are just a few of the highlights of the third edition of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater's Gulf to Bay magazine, which begins worldwide distribution of 600,000 copies today.
The award-winning publication, which will be distributed this Sunday via insertions in The New York Times in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh and Indianapolis features new content and photography, capturing the destination's beauty in 104 glossy pages with its trademark oversize trim.
One of the most anticipated features is the list of winners from this year's "Best Of" competition, an annual ranking determined via an online poll every fall. For 2015, the competition featured several new categories, including Best Hotel, Best Local Hashtag Community and Best Craft Brewery (see video). This year's edition also employs a new interactive technology via an app called Layar, which brings the magazine to life with additional content and videos by merely focusing a smart-phone camera on the printed page.
Published in partnership with the Tampa Bay Times, this year's magazine also includes a first-ever tear-out restaurant guide featuring a wide-ranging list of Times food critic Laura Reiley's top picks throughout the St. Pete/Clearwater area.
"Our objective has always been for Gulf to Bay to evolve with the destination," said VSPC Executive Director David Downing. "We're not stopping at merely growing the distribution each year. We've added engaging new technology, valuable editorial from a reputable source and new features that showcase the diversity of offerings in the St. Pete/Clearwater area."
Gulf to Bay has been the area's replacement for the traditional visitors guide and has increased in circulation each year since 2013. It is distributed worldwide via Visit St. Pete/Clearwater's international offices, at hundreds of industry and consumer tradeshows and events and via an online order form on VisitStPeteClearwater.com.
Locally, the magazine can be found at various visitors centers and kiosks, as well as at St. Pete/Clearwater and Tampa International Airports. Additional regional distribution will take place via insertions in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (this Sunday) as well as in Atlanta via the New York Times, Orlando Sentinel and Tampa Bay Times later this summer.
On this year's cover is local professional kiteboarder Drew Christianson, who can regularly be found getting air near the Sunshine Skyway and Fort De Soto Park.