June 23rd, 2017 TDC Recap

Friday, June 23, 2017

Dear Industry Partners:

Below you'll find a few highlights from this month's Tourist Development Council meeting. We have posted the TDC agenda online, along with our monthly department reports. You can watch the meeting online here.

April Marks 44th Consecutive Month of Bed Tax Growth; Canada Bounces Back 

Tourist Development Tax collections totaled more than $5.9 million in April, a jump of 13.6% year-over-year thanks to increases in key hotel metrics Average Daily Rate (ADR) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR). ADR jumped by more than 7% and RevPAR grew by 8.6%. The Canadian market posted particularly strong gains, growing by more than 12% in April year-over-year, leading some industry experts to speculate that the pent up demand is the result of Canadians growing more accustomed to longer-term currency valuations.

Summer Marketing Efforts Include Statewide Activations Surrounding 'Go Gulf Coasting' Campaign 

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater announced the kickoff this month of an all-new summer marketing campaign targeting Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa Bay The efforts include market-specific branded TV and radio spots that suggest taking "a break from the Atlantic" in Jacksonville and Miami, as well as the continued positioning of the destination in Orlando via use of the "BeachesOfOrlando.com" URL. In addition to the brand campaign is a multitiered GoGulfCoasting.com effort that features an eye-catching branded Airstream Basecamp that will take center stage at high-profile events around the state. Activations and a robust digital marketing plan are tied to the chance for consumers to enter and win the tricked-out day-camper or one of three trips to St. Pete/Clearwater.

VSPC Honored At Tampa Bay Business Journal's Business of Pride Awards 

This week, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater was recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal for working to advance LGBTQ+ equality with its Business of Pride awards. According to the Biz Journal, "Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is committed to enhancing how the destination marketing world sees the LGBTQ+ community in Tampa Bay." Of particular note was that the organization includes LGBTQ+ imagery and messaging in its mainstream marketing placements and is a presenting sponsor of St. Pete Pride, the largest LGBT celebration of its kind in Florida.

Beach Nourishment Planned for Nearly 12 Miles of Shoreline

Pinellas County Coastal Management has confirmed nearly 12 miles of beach nourishment areas as part of federal projects administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. On the list is nine miles of Sand Key, 1.5 miles of Treasure Island and 1.4 miles of Long Key. To ensure the projects don't interfere with turtle nesting season, projects are not scheduled to begin until Nov. 1 at the earliest. The total expected cost of all three projects is $56.2 million with cost sharing between federal (60%), state (20%) and local (20%). The Pinellas County portion of the funding comes from the Tourist Development Tax, which is the basis for the federal and state matching funds.

Again, these are just a few highlights. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting at 9 a.m. on July 19.

David Downing
Executive Director