July 13, 2011 TDC Meeting Recap

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dear Industry Partner:

Below you'll find just a few highlights from this morning's monthly Tourist Development Council meeting. As usual, we have posted the agenda online on our industry website, with clickable links to all of the individual monthly departmental reports. Please note that each of these clickable agendas will be posted on this page of our industry site the Monday before the TDC meeting every month.

Tourist Development Tax Collection Sets All-Time Record for May

The St. Pete/Clearwater area set an all-time record for May Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections, increasing by a whopping 13.58% over May 2010 to $2.2 million and breaking the record for May collections set back in 2006. According to Smith Travel research, occupancy rose by 10.8% in May as well, with visitors from the greater Tampa Bay area, New York, and Orlando topping the list of domestic feeder markets. As of May, fiscal year TDT collections are up by 6.46%, and Walter Klages of Research Data Services expects strong June results as well, based on preliminary data collection for that month. This good news comes on the heels of an incredibly robust March, which saw the second highest single month TDT collection in Pinellas County's history.

Web Stats Heat up with '100 Days of Summer' Campaign

VSPC's '100 Days of Summer' promotion is off to a strong start, signaling significant growth across key online indicators. For the month of June, 61% of all e-newsletter sign-ups and 28% of Visitor Guide orders came from one of five dedicated '100 Days' pages on VisitStPeteClearwater.com. That momentum continued on the social media front, garnering thousands of daily impressions for campaign-related activity on Facebook, including a high-mark of 9,855, for a post on June 20. VSPC tweets highlighting each daily attraction and weekly giveaways have also been regularly retweeted on Twitter. Through the first six weeks of the campaign, more than 10,000 users have entered for the chance to win a 4 day/3 night getaway in St. Pete/Clearwater. Details on the campaign---including print advertisement placements and links to weekly e-blasts---can be found on PinellasCVB.com.

New TV Ads Airing in Key Feeder Markets, 100 Days Calendar

VSPC's newest television commercials, which began airing over Memorial Day weekend in the greater Tampa Bay and Orlando markets, are unlike anything we've done before: instead of simply listing the many wonderful superlatives the area has to offer, the spots strive to make an emotional connection with viewers via images of families and couples (seen here and here) enjoying themselves on sun soaked beaches, while the soundtrack swells with orchestral scores and inspirational voiceovers. The perfect complement to the ads is the '100 Days' calendar, which lists activities, events and aspects of the destination that were specifically chosen to showcase the area's eclectic variety of offerings for visitors and locals alike.

Elite Event Review Committee to Take Place of August TDC Meeting

In closing, just a note to remind everyone that, per long-standing Tourist Development Council tradition, August's meeting will be canceled, and in its place we will have a meeting of the Elite Event funding review committee on August 10 at the VSPC offices at the St. Pete College EpiCenter. All of the CVB departmental reports for August, however, will be filed as usual and will be available for viewing on PinellasCVB.com.

Again, these are just a few highlights of the meeting. Also, as a reminder, in addition to the individual reports and online agenda, you can watch streaming video of the entire meeting available online from Pinellas County Communications.

Regards,

David

David Downing
Deputy Director
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater