August 22 TDC Recap

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dear Industry Partners:

Below you'll find just a few highlights from this week's Tourist Development Council meeting. As usual, we have posted the  TDC agenda online on our industry website along with all of the  individual monthly departmental reports.

Dolphin Tale 2 Promotions Ready To Make A Splash
In conjunction with the nationwide premiere of Dolphin Tale 2 on Sept. 12, VSPC is launching a  series of marketing efforts encouraging potential visitors to explore St. Pete/Clearwater, where the movie was filmed. Tag lines like "Maybe you've seen Dolphin Tale 2. But have you seen the stars?" grace hang tags that will be in rental cars at four regional airports in Tampa and Orlando. Additionally, the branded trams at Tampa International Airport will be themed around similar messaging, including a photo opportunity encouraging travelers to stop and snap a "selfie" with the stars of the movie, "Winter" and "Hope."

Bed Tax Collections Continue Double-Digit Increases
In an unprecedented run of Tourist Development Tax collections, June posted a 13.09% gain, becoming the sixth month of FY2013-14 to see a double-digit increase year-over-year. The increases are on the heels of last year's record-setting year, which was the first to see collections top $30 million. With three months left in this fiscal year, TDT totals sit at $27 million---more than 13% above FY2012-13 and well on pace to become the second-ever $30-million-plus year.

New 15-Second 'Bookend' TV Spots Hitting Airwaves This Summer
In a continuing effort to promote the area with the most effective advertising outreaches, this summer we are launching new 15-second long "bookend" television ads. These shorter ads, which take the place of regular 30-second spots, effectively double the frequency of the 30-second spots by framing each commercial break with two 15-second spots instead. These spots are designed to be complementary: the first one is a brand spot promoting the destination, and the second one is a spot that promotes a call to action---specifically, inviting viewers to enter the Million Megawatts Getaway and explore LiveAmplified.com. These will run throughout the summer months in both the greater Tampa Bay and Orlando markets.

TDC Discusses Competitive CVB Structures Around The State
At the request of TDC/BCC Chairwoman Karen Seel, the TDC undertook a wide-ranging discussion regarding the CVB's current structure as it relates to similar organizations from around the state. Walter Klages from Research Data Services presented a comparative chart  of the relative merits of each type of structure, along with a timeline outlining the history of evolution of our own CVB's structure. A more detailed analysis of a few particular CVB structures will be presented at an upcoming workshop with the BCC, the date and time of which are to be announced. To view the entire discussion regarding this subject, see the streaming video of the TDC meeting here.

Again, these are just a few highlights from the meeting. Please note that we are in the process of setting the date and time for a joint TDC/BCC meeting in September---we'll update you on that when plans have been finalized.

David Downing
Interim Executive Director