December 14, 2011 TDC Recap

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dear Industry Partner:

In place of this month's regular Tourist Development Council meeting, an event-funding workshop was held yesterday at Clearwater's Harborview Center. In lieu of live presentations by CVB department directors at that workshop, all monthly , departmental reports are available for your review on our industry site, PinellasCVB.com.

Meetings Room Nights, Economic Impact Up from 2010-11
Meetings and Conventions department director Suzanne Scully reported that leads for the month of October were up more than 30% over 2010 numbers. In addition, year-to-date totals for room revenue, definite room nights and economic impact are all up over FY10-11. Throughout the month, the team attended key tradeshows in Las Vegas, London and Tallahassee and hosted site visits for five groups that could total more than 2,500 room nights.

Winter Sweepstakes Helps Drive Web Traffic
VSPC saw strong growth throughout its online presence, in conjunction with a unified Winter the Dolphin campaign. A new Winter sweepstakes page was created, which received more than 9,000 entries to win a trip to meet the Dolphin Tale star. VSPC's monthly consumer newsletter also featured the contest, resulting in that issue's most clicked-through link. A three-fold increase in views of the film trailer's video also positively impacted the time on site for VisitStPeteClearwater.com.

PR Continues Canadian Push at Discover America Day
In an effort to maintain a continued focus on Canada, Senior Public Relations Manager Mary Haban represented VSPC at the annual Discover America Day in Toronto. This yearly gathering attracts some of Ontario and Quebec's finest media, including the large daily newspapers, as well as a collection of talented freelance travel writers. Haban also met with the U.S. Counsel General and other key American delegates who are based in Canada and promote travel between the two countries. The PR department will be hosting a group of select Canadian journalists in February as part of a co-branded media outreach with Visit Florida.

Associated Press Highlights VSPC in Statewide Tourism Story
Associated Press writer Mitch Stacy highlighted the St. Pete/Clearwater area in a story this week on Florida tourism's growth and its rebound from the BP oil spill. Citing an anticipated bed-tax revenue growth of about 1 to 2 percent for Pinellas County, Stacy reported that the number actually jumped nearly 8 percent this year. "I think there was some pent-up demand from people who had postponed or canceled their vacations," VSPC Executive Director DT Minich was quoted as saying, "and I think we saw a return of people who may had gone somewhere else the year before because of the threat of oil," he added. The piece, which can be read in its entirety here, was picked up by numerous news outlets across the country.

New CMA Attraction Opens with Dolphin Tale Props, Recreated Scenes
Clearwater Marine Aquarium officially opened its newest attraction---the aptly-named 'Winter's Dolphin Tale Adventure'---this week, taking over the ground-floor space formerly inhabited by Stein Mart in the Harborview Center in downtown Clearwater. Guests can relive the tale with a behind the scenes look at the hit film through recreated movie scenes, images, actual props used in Dolphin Tale, two mini-theaters, an interactive kid's area and much more. With the purchase of a ticket at either facility, the Clearwater Jolley Trolley will provide complimentary transportation from one locale to the other. For more information on ticket prices and to see an image from inside the exhibit, visit VSPC's Facebook page.

Again, these are just a few highlights of the meeting. Best wishes for a safe and happy Holiday season, and we look forward to working with you for a prosperous 2012.

Regards,

David

David Downing
Deputy Director
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater