April 13, 2011 TDC Meeting Recap

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dear Industry Partner:

Below you'll find just a few highlights from this month's Tourist Development Council meeting. In the past we have hosted all of the reports individually by department on PinellasCVB.com, but this year, in an effort to encourage conservation of paper and streamline the process, we have begun posting the agenda online, with clickable links to all of the individual 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 each month.

Dolphin Tale Trailer Makes Splash at Theaters Nationwide The first promotional movie trailer for Dolphin Tale---the major motion picture based-on and starring Clearwater Marine Aquarium's Winter the Dolphin---is now being screened in theaters nationwide. The teaser trailer (which can be seen here ) features a number of the film's A-list stars, including Harry Connick Jr. and Morgan Freeman, in addition to Winter. The piece is one of several trailers that will be issued in advance of the film's September 23 release. The movie is being produced by Alcon Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros., the same duo that collaborated on mega-hit 'The Blind Side.' New VSPC promotional materials that tout the area as the location of the movie and the home of Winter are currently in development and will debut in the coming months.

Satellite Media Tour to Push '100 Days of Summer' Travel In concert with internet travel giant Orbitz, the Leisure Travel and the Public Relations teams will embark on a satellite media tour on Wednesday, April 27, live from St Pete Beach. The tour will consist of a series of interviews that will be beamed via satellite to local news stations around the country, reaching many of the area's key feeder markets. The segments will promote Orbitz' summer travel preview---including our area's upcoming '100 Days of Summer' campaign, the multi-medium initiative that will highlight 100 special offers and 100 events. This is the second year in a row VSPC has teamed up with Orbitz for a satellite media tour to promote the area nationally.

Elite Athletes Return to St. Pete/Clearwater for Signature Spring Events Now part of the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) 5150 Triathlon Series, the St. Anthony's Triathlon returns to St. Pete later this month. The festivities will take place April 29-May 1, with a variety of events scheduled including a sports and fitness expo and a youth clinic. Less than a month later, the Sports Commission will welcome the Big East Baseball Championship back to Clearwater's Bright House Field for the fifth time in six years. The annual conference tournament is the first postseason step for players with hopes of advancing to college baseball's mecca---Omaha, Nebraska---for the College World Series. The tourney takes place May 25-29.

Updates on Visit Florida Reorganization, BP Funds As the bill that would change the structure of VF makes its way through the Florida legislature, many questions are being asked about the future of VF and how those changes might affect us. At this point all we have to report is that the Florida Association of CVB's unanimously opposes the measure, and is working through their lobbyists to make their position known. Last week, TDC Chair Susan Latvala sent a letter to state legislators expressing Pinellas County's concerns about the move---which FACVB sees as a dissolution of Florida's state marketing organization, and not merely a reorganization. The bill itself is short on detail, so many questions remain as to how any of these changes would play out if the measure passes. The FACVB meets again today, so we will keep you apprised of any further developments. Also, earlier this week it was announced that BP would be dispersing an additional $30 million to seven Panhandle counties as tourism to that area continues to recover from last summer's oil spill. Pinellas County will not receive any of this funding, and we've yet to hear back from our request last fall for an additional $3 million to combat negative perceptions caused by the spill.

Deadline to RSVP for Tourism Week Luncheon Approaching Just a reminder that Wednesday, April 27 is the deadline to RSVP for VSPC's National Travel and Tourism Week Luncheon on Friday, May 6, at the Riverside Grille House in Tarpon Springs. Dolphin Tale producer Bob Engleman will be the special guest, providing the group with an insider's perspective on the making of the film. Seating is very limited and reservations are on a first-come basis, so be sure to RSVP if you plan to attend.

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.



David Downing
Assistant Director
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater