Friday, June 5, 2015 - 4:38pm
St. Pete/Clearwater (June 5, 2015) - With a record 6,500 attendees at the United States' largest travel show, U.S. Travel Association's IPW in Orlando, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater made its biggest splash ever.
More than 1,000 appointments were held in the destination's booth; VSPC became the first tourism board in the world to showcase its destination through Dome 3D; and a mega FAM brought more than 100 of the top journalists and tour operators from Latin America to St. Pete/Clearwater once the show ended.
"We've never exposed the destination to as many people and had as big of an effect at one show like this before," said David Downing, VSPC's Executive Director. "It's a testament to the product, our partners and the amazingly-talented VSPC staff."
Lined by a colorful, back-lit booth, VSPC's international directors from the UK, Germany, Latin America and Canada, in addition to the U.S., conducted business alongside 11 hotel partners and TDC member Jen Carlisle of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium during the three days of action. The U.S. Travel Association projects 8.8 million international visitors to the U.S. stemming from business conducted at IPW.
Creating additional buzz was the state-of-the-art technology debuted exclusively by VSPC, which brought St. Pete/Clearwater to life for a 4-minute virtual reality experience by wearing a pair of goggles. The experiential video put clients in the air parasailing and on the back of a jet ski flying through the Gulf of Mexico.
"We've taken the latest technology and brought the destination to it," Downing said. "And you could tell by the reactions of some of the travel industry's biggest names at IPW."
Extending the life of the show, VSPC hosted more than 100 VIPs from Latin America (10 countries in total represented) Thursday and Friday in the destination. The trip included a beach day at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach, visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, lunch at the Loews Don CeSar on St. Pete Beach and visits to The Dali Museum and Chihuly Collection in St. Pete. During the past two years, visitation from Latin America to St. Pete/Clearwater has grown by 80%.
B-roll of Dome 3D Experience
SOT from David Downing