February 9, 2011 TDC Meeting Recap

Wednesday, February 9, 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.

Overnight Visitation Tops 5 million for Calendar Year 2010
Dr. Walter Klages of Research Data Services presented the results of Pinellas County tourism for calendar year 2010, which showed a net gain of nearly 50,000 visitors, representing a 1% increase in overnight visitation for the year. The 5,041,200 overnight visitors who stayed in Pinellas County lodging last year accounted for a total economic impact of more than $6.3 billion locally, which is a .1% increase over 2009. For Dr. Klages' full report, click here .

VSPC Ad Campaigns Win Prestigious HSMAI Awards
Beating out more than 1,100 entries from around the globe, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater received top honors in two categories at the recent Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) annual 2010 Adrian Awards, which honor creative excellence in hospitality, travel, and tourism-related marketing. VSPC received a Gold Adrian Award for their comprehensive oil recovery campaign , which was designed to let visitors know the area's beaches were unaffected by last summer's BP oil spill. A second Gold Adrian was awarded for the innovative print advertising Meetings Ambassador campaign, which featured actual employees from several area hotels. HSMAI also honored the founder and namesake of VSPC's New York-based PR firm, Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations, with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Relations. The award was presented by hospitality industry giant J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Jr., who was also honored.

JetBlue Sweepstakes Tops 10,000 Entries in First Week
VSPC's new sweepstakes with JetBlue Getaways is off to a roaring start, receiving more than 10,000 entries in the first week alone. The sweepstakes, which is co-sponsored by VSPC and JetBlue Getaways and will award one winner a week for a month, is being heavily promoted in the NYC area by means of cutting edge technology called QR codes (seen here ), which enable contestants to enter by scanning a code using camera-enabled smart phones. These codes are inserted into VSPC advertisements that appear in the subway trains and platforms, as well as in full page ads in AM New York, one of the most widely read papers in the city. It will also be promoted at VSPC's booth at the upcoming New York Times Travel show, which takes place in Manhattan's Javitz Center the last weekend of February. Since the contest chooses a winner each week, entrants can return each week for another chance at winning, and all entrants are invited to receive a Visitor Guide, and subscribe to our e-Newsletter. Online entries can be made at Jet2theBeach.com.

New VSPC Ad Campaign Debuts in Snowbound NYC Area
Over the last two years, we've hit the streets of NYC---and what's beneath them---delivering our sunny salutations through a variety of innovative and cutting-edge avenues, and this year is no exception. On January 28, VSPC took over NYC using a multi-level approach that will create an estimated total of 450 million impressions for Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. Underground, VSPC can be found in 570 subway car trains, and subway terminal posters. At ground level, we have completely wrapped 2 double-decker tour buses with images of sun and fun. Above ground, we will be featured in nearly 2,700 elevator screens spread over some 250 high rise office buildings. The installments, which feature all-new imagery shot in various locations throughout the St. Pete/Clearwater area last fall, are the first salvos of a brand-new ad campaign designed to tout the area's award-winning beaches and reflect the destination's active, youthful vibe. To view the new imagery, check out this article on our Facebook page.

International Media Descend Upon Area for Dali, Dolphins and More
On the heels of the opening of the new Dali Museum in downtown St. Petersburg---which received 37,500 visitors in its first 28 days---VSPC's Public Relations department has been busy hosting a steady stream of national and international journalists. High profile media outlets, including the Times of London and Spain's El Pais newspaper, were invited to the area for advance coverage of the opening back in December, followed by major domestic American outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, and more. At the end of January, a high-end photo shoot took place at the Dali Museum for Golf Style, a Toronto-based golf travel and lifestyle magazine, and just last week a group of French journalists were in the destination, many for the first time ever. The media blitz continues next week, with a group of writers from high-profile media outlets in the United Kingdom, who will be in town to cover the destination and promote British Airways daily nonstop service from London to Tampa, which will begin in March. A German media group is in the works for later this spring.

Despite the many reports and promising news presented at the meeting, the real highlight of the morning was a motion TDC Chair Susan Latvala made to reinstate St. Petersburg City Council Member Leslie Curran back to her post on the TDC Board. The motion passed unanimously.

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