April 17, 2013 TDC Recap

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dear Industry Partner:

Below you'll find just a few highlights from this month's Tourist Development Council meeting. As usual, we have posted the TDC agenda online on our industry website with clickable links to all of the individual monthly departmental reports.

Bed Tax Gains Continue in February

Continuing the upward trend started in Q1 of FY2013, February's Tourist Development Tax notched a 9.6% gain year-over-year, which brought in more than $3 million in revenues for the month. This brings total FY2013 tax collections to $10.7 million, which is an 11% increase year-over-year. All eyes are focused on March, which is the destination's busiest month of the year.

Average Daily Rate Spikes with Demand

St. Pete/Clearwater's Average Daily Rate (ADR) had the second-highest jump in the state with an increase of more than 8% to $122.94/night in February. Occupancy rates stood out as well, making a 4.5% gain for the month, which was the third-highest mark in the state. New York and Chicago remained a strong 1-2 in feeder markets, consistent with Visit St. Pete/Clearwater's massive wintertime marketing campaign in those markets. 

State of the American Traveler Signals Positive Trends

Nate Huff, Senior Vice President of Miles, showcased positive data from the State of the American Traveler research research conducted in January by Destination Analysts. This year's study  showed that travelers feel more confident financially and are less focused on finding discounts than in years past, with a drop in the percentage of those who claim that they actively seek travel deals (51%). Also, while they are booking and researching online, the percentage of American leisure travelers who use print publications for travel inspiration reached a survey high of 49% in January 2013. For the complete report, click here.

Paradise Introduced as New Local PR/Media & Communications Firm

As part of a continuing re-vamp of its public relations outreach, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater introduced the account team from its new locally-based Public Relations agency of record, Paradise Advertising & Marketing. Led by CEO Cedar Hames and account manager Patrick Harrison, Paradise will work hand-in-hand with VSPC to expand on the destination's local, national and international media coverage, as well as coordinating local FAMs and other industry-related needs. An industry summit is currently in the works for late June, during which the new team will be introduced to tourism partners as part of a half-day-long PR and interactive media workshop. Stay tuned for more details.

We hope you find this information valuable, and we look forward to continuing this year's success.

See you at next month's TDC meeting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. 




David Downing
Deputy Director
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater