March 3, 2010 TDC Meeting Recap

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dear Industry Partner:

Below you'll find a few highlights from this month's Tourist Development Council meeting. Individual monthly departmental reports, which were presented in full by department representatives, are all complete and posted to our industry website, PinellasCVB.com. As always, we invite you to attend the meetings in person or view them at your leisure online at PinellasCounty.org.

AREA AMONG FINALISTS FOR 2012 REPUBLICAN CONVENTION, 2014 SUPER BOWL
Visit St Pete /Clearwater is partnering with Tampa Bay & Company to bid on two major events that will bring thousands of room nights and a major economic impact to the area: the 2012 Republican National Convention and the 2014 Super Bowl. Meetings with officials from Tampa Bay & Company this week confirmed that the Tampa Bay area is among three finalists for each of these events. The area will compete with Salt Lake City and Phoenix for the RNC bid, and with New York City and Miami for the Super Bowl. Details are still being planned for the official site visit by RNC committee members, which will take place later this month. The convention is scheduled to take place on August 27, 2012, which is the week before Labor Day.

EXTENSIVE CAMPAIGN BEGINS AS NYC MOVES TO USA's #1 TOURIST DESTINATION
VSPC's marketing push in the New York City market continues throughout March with 30-second Taxi TV commercial spots that will run when a new passenger enters a cab. The ads, which will appear in some 4,500 of NYC's 12,000 licensed taxi cabs, will generate an estimated 14.5 million impressions. The campaign coincides with New York City's recently-released tourism numbers for 2009---which included a record 45.25 million total visitors, putting it at the top of the heap of tourism destinations in the U.S. The announcement marks the first time that NYC has surpassed Orlando as the nation's most-visited destination---but VSPC has both bases covered, since our summertime in-state campaign will saturate Orlando this summer.

MAJOR SPORTS TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO AREA AFTER 16-YEAR HIATUS
One of the country's premier bowling contests is returning to the area for the first time since 1994. Hosted by the National Bowling Association and the St. Petersburg Bowling Senate, the Southern Region Tournament will take place in Seminole, Clearwater and St. Petersburg, November 18 through November 21, 2010. The tourney is expected to draw around 2,000 participants, resulting in up to 5,000 room nights. Following this year's event, the St. Pete/Clearwater Sports Commission and the St. Pete Bowling Senate will begin preparations to land the organization's national tournament, which could bring as many as 10,000 bowlers to the area.

VSPC/JETBLUE VACATION SWEEPSTAKES LAUNCHES THIS WEEK
In tandem with the New York City advertising campaign mentioned above, this week VSPC launched its online vacation getaway contest with JetBlue, who will provide eight lucky winners with roundtrip airfare as part of a month-long March sweepstakes promotion. Marking the first time VSPC has collaborated directly with the airline on a co-branded promotional campaign, the outreach pairs VSPC's logo with the JetBlue logo on all collateral, including the sandwich boards and caps worn by "street teams" that distribute AM NY, a daily newspaper favored by commuters and delivered widely throughout the metropolitan area. Currently, a total of 20 nonstop flights are offered between NYC area airports and Tampa International, seven of which are offered by JetBlue.

NEW VSPC WEBSITE CONTINUES REFINEMENT
As part of our continued website refinement efforts, ongoing qualitative consumer usability testing is being conducted by Miles Media in coordination with the launch. Research findings and industry feedback will be incorporated into the website moving forward, and the site will be constantly reviewed and upgraded. In addition to its cutting-edge navigation and design, the new website boasts all new videos and articles, increased visibility for partners through enhanced detailed listing pages, a new booking component, new maps and many additional features.

SPECIAL CVB THANKS TO TDC MEMBER CARLEN PETERSEN
With her time as a City of Clearwater Councilmember coming to a close, today marked the final meeting for Carlen Petersen as Clearwater's elected representative on Pinellas County's Tourist Development Council. Since her appointment to the TDC in December of 2004, Carlen has been an active participant on various TDC panels and committees across a spectrum of topics. Among other things, her keen insight on international travel has been an invaluable resource, and we're thankful for her service to this community. Though she will be greatly missed by her peers and colleagues in the tourism industry, we know that she will continue to champion sustainable tourism to the area, and continue to be an advocate for Clearwater on many fronts. We look forward to working with the next Clearwater representative to the TDC---expect an announcement on that position by the end of March.

Again, these are just a few highlights of the meeting. Also, as a reminder, in addition to the streaming video of the entire meeting available from PCC TV, you can view all of the CVB's individual monthly departmental reports on our industry web site, PinellasCVB.com.

Regards,
David

David Downing
Assistant Director
Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater