January 24th, 2018 TDC Recap

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Below you'll find a few highlights from this month's Tourist Development Council meeting. We have posted the TDC agenda online, along with our monthly department reports. You can also watch the meeting here.

2018 Marketing Efforts Ramp Up In Orlando, Northern Markets

On the heels of new research that confirms Orlando is St. Pete/Clearwater's No. 1 market year-round, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater's largest marketing campaign ever in Orlando is up and running. As part of its strategy to reach locals, VSPC has taken over four tunnels that connect long-term parking and the terminal at Orlando International Airport. The massive installations emphasize the 90-minute drive West for America's best beaches, directing people to BeachesOfOrlando.com . Of course, VSPC is still blanketing New York City with its annual wintertime marketing blitz complete with wrapped double-decker buses, commuter trains, subway cars, urban panels and broadcast TV. In addition, the newest Gulf to Bay magazine will be inserted into The New York Times in 13 different cities throughout the country, beginning Feb. 4.

Evolution Of Data Brings Business Intelligence Tool To Life

With the rise in digital marketing and the advent of new data sources, VSPC is developing a new business intelligence tool to help measure its marketing effectiveness and better understand the return on investment (ROI) for its efforts. Moving forward, VSPC will aggregate data from more than a dozen different data sources---like Google analytics, visitor intercept surveys, bed tax reports, airport service, visitor volume, Smith Travel Research (STR) and more---to help understand these metrics and cross reference with additional data, allowing for quicker and easier analysis and resource optimization.

PIE, Allegiant Celebrate Record 2017 With 2 Million Passengers

2017 was a banner year for St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and its main carrier, Allegiant Airlines. PIE saw more than 2 million passengers last year with almost all of those traveling on Allegiant, which now serves 62 cities to St. Pete/Clearwater ---third most for the airline. In total, those more than 2 million passengers resulted in more than $226 million in spending. Allegiant said it expects 2018 to be another year of double-digit growth at PIE, which is embarking on a $56 million capital improvement program to enhance the traveler experience.

Elite Event Applications Available March 1, Due March 30

Elite Event applications for FY18-19 will be available beginning March 1 on PinellasCVB.com . Following the posting of the application, there will be an information session from 1-3 p.m. on March 6 at VSPC's offices. All applications will be due by 4 p.m. on March 30. All Elite Event information will be updated and posted to PinellasCVB.com.

November Marks 51st Consecutive Month Of Bed Tax Gains

Tourist Development Tax collections totaled more than $3.5 million in November, an increase of 12.9% year-over-year, marking the 51st consecutive month of growth and 74 of the past 75 months of gains. Driving November's performance and double-digit increase were jumps in Rooms Sold (10.4%) and Revenue per Available Room (7.5%), according to Smith Travel Research (STR) . Early indications from STR for December show similar increases, which will close out the destination's highest annual TDT collections ever at more than $55 million.

Again, these are just highlights from the meeting. We'd love to see you at the inaugural 2018 St. Pete/Clearwater "Besties" awards and Gulf to Bay magazine unveiling from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1 at the Mahaffey Theater in downtown St. Pete. You can RSVP here.

David Downing,
President & CEO