January 21, 2016 TDC Recap

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dear Industry Partners:
Happy New Year! Below you'll find just a few highlights from the first Tourist Development Council meeting of 2016. Per usual, you can view the TDC agenda and all of VSPC's monthly department reports online.

November Marks 27th Consecutive Month Of Bed Tax Gain
Pinellas County tourist development tax collections totaled more than $2.3 million in November, a 13.4% increase year over year. It's the most successful November on record, and the 25th month of the past 38 to see double digit gains. With two months of FY15-16 in the books, collections sit 14.3% ahead of last year, which was a record setting year that saw 12.2% growth and netted some $39.3 million.

Dali-Disney Media Event In New York City Garners National Headlines
In advance of Saturday's opening of Dali-Disney: Architects of the Imagination, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater and St. Pete's Dali Museum previewed the landmark exhibition to high profile journalists in NYC last week. The event, attended by media with connections to the nation's largest outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Associated Press, to name a few showcased the exhibit and virtual reality technology being utilized by The Dali and VSPC. The initial coverage has landed on websites totaling more than 500 million unique monthly visitors, including this recap from CNET, a digital media outlet that covers technology.

Winter Campaign In Boston, Chicago, London and New York City Set To Launch
With winter bearing down on the area's largest feeder markets, VSPC's allnew winter campaign is beginning to heat up. The domestic efforts which include branded subway trains, urban street panels, wrapped buses and digital targeting total more than 560 million impressions and feature an amped up look with vibrant swirls of color, all new destination imagery and phrases like "Get Your Glow On" and "Less Solar. More Polar." In the United Kingdom, VSPC's second ever national campaign features TV spots, taxi toppers and digital efforts, along with full motion ads that will play on some of the country's largest outdoor screens including a massive installation at London's Piccadilly Circus. Get a glimpse at all of the creative here.

Team VSPC Gears Up For Busy Florida Huddle Next Week
Visit Florida brings the state's leading travel trade event, Florida Huddle, to Tampa Bay next week, with hundreds of travel suppliers, international buyers and media descending on the region. Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is hosting several pre and post FAMs for international media and buyers, in addition to hosting a Wednesday night VIP event at the Mahaffey Theater and Dali Museum for attendees and local tourism partners who are participating in the show. A special welcome and thanks to BCC Chair Charlie Justice, who officially took over the TDC gavel by presiding at this week's meeting. We all look forward to working with him to keep Pinellas County's tourism economy in continued record territory throughout 2016and beyond!

Again, these are just a few highlights. Feel free to watch the meeting in its entirety here.

The next TDC meeting will be at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17. We hope to see you there if not sooner.

David Downing
Executive Director