May 22, 2014 TDC Recap

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dear Industry Partner:

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.

March Sets New Tax Collection Record With First-Ever $5-Million Month
Once again, March has set a new standard for Tourist Development Tax  collections. The more than $5.3 million was the most ever collected for one month and was the first time the total climbed beyond $5 million. The record was a 7.3% increase over last year's previous record-setter, even with Easter falling in April this year. Halfway into FY13-14, TDT numbers stand at $17.3 million, more than 10% ahead of last year's record-setting $31 million amount.

Occupancy, Average Daily Rate Continue To Climb As Visitation Soars
With more than 660,000 overnight visitors accounting for more than 794,000 room nights---a 3% increase year-over-year---in March, area accommodations averaged a whopping  92% occupancy rate in March with an Average Daily Rate of more than $167. Significant shifts in visitor origin came from jumps in the European, Midwest and Northeastern markets, with Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and Boston topping the list of March feeder markets.

First-Ever Florida's Natural Partnership Finishing Record Campaign
Even before the national campaign gracing Florida's Natural Orange Juice cartons has come to a close, the marketing effort has surpassed all previous sweepstakes participation. With 10 days left in the campaign, the initiative has driven more than 1.2 million page views of FloridasNaturalBeaches.com and generated more than 567,000 entries, 13,900 e-newsletter sign-ups and 9,000 destination magazine orders. From a strictly participation/engagement perspective, it is the single-most effective marketing outreach of its kind in CVB history.
 
Sports Commission Lands Prestigious Women's World Softball Event
One of the world's largest softball events will be taking place in Clearwater come 2017: the International Softball Federation (ISF) awarded Clearwater the 2017 ISF Junior Women's World Championship for July 24-30, 2017. It's the first time the area has hosted an ISF World Championship, which is expected to draw softball teams from around the globe.
 
VSPC Sports Commissioner Named Outback Bowl Chair
The Outback Bowl announced this week that VSPC's Sports Commissioner Kevin Smith has been elected to the post of Chairman of the Board of Directors of the popular New Year's Day college bowl game, which takes place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa and draws thousands of fans and players to the St. Pete/Clearwater area every year. Smith, who has been on the Outback Bowl Board of Directors since 1992, is former chair of the bowl's Team Selection Committee and a long-time volunteer of the bowl's popular "Clearwater Beach Day" event.
 
Again, these are just a few highlights from the meeting. The next TDC meeting is at 9 a.m. on June 18. All of our regular monthly reports are on filed and posted online at PinellasCVB.com.

Regards,
David 

David Downing
Deputy Director
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater