July 17, 2013 TDC Recap

Thursday, July 18, 2013
Dear Industry Partner:
Below you'll find just a few highlights from Wednesday morning'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.
Record-Setting May Bed Tax Receipts Continue 2013 Trend 
May's 4.5% increase year-over-year in Tourist Development Tax set an all-time record for that month, bringing in more than $2.55 million. With two-thirds of the FY in the books, Pinellas County's bed tax remains 8.4% higher year-to-date than 2012. The forecast for June remains positive, according to Research Data Services, showing steady gains through the month.
Sports Commission Caps Busy Month, Scores Major Events for 2014
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater's Sports Commission announced that the area has won bids for two USA Diving events to be held in March and April 2014, two bowling events in May and June 2014 and the inaugural American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship, also in May 2014. Collectively, these events are expected to draw some 10,000 competitors to the destination. The announcement came on the heels of what has been an incredibly active year for the Sports Commission thus far---including Clearwater hosting the last installment of the Big East Baseball Championship, a stand-up paddleboard event in St. Pete Beach that had its highest number of participants ever and a pair of bowling events that saw more than 13,000 participants.
Applications Available For Open TDC Seat
Applications are now being accepted for appointment to the Pinellas County Tourist Development Council. The open position is for any person directly involved in the tourism industry who has demonstrated an interest in tourism development, but is not an owner/operator of a hotel or motel. Interested parties should submit a brief bio or resume outlining their eligibility to serve, as well as a letter expressing the desire to be considered for an appointment. The appointment is valid until Oct. 31, 2016. Applications can be emailed or mailed to VSPC Special Projects Manager Linnie Randolph at Linnie@VisitSPC.com or 13805 58th St. N., Suite 2-200, Clearwater, FL, 33760. Submissions must be received by the close of business on Friday, Aug. 16.
Rockin' Results For Summer Campaign
VSPC's summertime campaign---"Where Summer Rocks"---is being heard loud and clear, with Tampa Bay and the Greater Orlando areas rocketing to 1-2 as the top U.S. feeder markets for the month of May. That's due in large part to the launch of "Where Summer Rocks" campaign, with all-new creative elements airing on TV, radio, online, print and regional billboards. Visitation has been consistent with the results online as more than 57,000 entries were submitted for the giveaway portion tied to the campaign in the first three weeks. In addition, WhereSummerRocks.com has generated more than 117,000 page views. The campaign runs for 100 days, concluding Labor Day weekend.
VSPC Showcases Video Content Across Multiple Channels
With online content in high demand, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater has initiated an aggressive video production schedule designed to showcase newsworthy, noteworthy---or just plain cool---facets of the destination, from the emergence of a local craft beer trail to experiential adventure videos. The content is being promoted via press releases, on VSPC's website and on its social media channels, including YouTube, which is experiencing a notable increase in traffic and usage. In a week's time, more than 120,000 impressions and 25,000 views were accrued on the newly promoted content.
Please note that in lieu of the regularly-scheduled August TDC Meeting, a joint Board of County Commissioners/Tourist Development Council meeting will be held on Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 9 a.m. in the 4th Floor Clerks Large Conference Room of the Pinellas County Court House (this meeting is open to the public, but it will not be televised). And even though we will not have a regular TDC meeting in August, all of the regular monthly reports will be on file and posted online at PinellasCVB.com.
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
Deputy Director
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater