June 8, 2011 TDC Meeting Recap

Wednesday, June 8, 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.

Fort De Soto Park Named Best Family Beach, Featured on Today Show
St. Pete/Clearwater's Fort De Soto Park has been named America's Best Family Beach by the editors of Parents, the nation's top selling parenting and family lifestyle magazine, with a paid circulation of more than 2 million readers and a total readership of 15 million. In its recap of Fort De Soto's North Beach, the magazine doted on the natural sandbar off the coast, which acts as a lagoon-like pool for younger swimmers. Water quality also scored off the charts, boasting a spotless record following more than 100 tests in 2009 and 2010. Parents editor-in-chief Dana Points appeared live on NBC's TODAY with Kathie Lee and Hoda this morning to formally announce the results. You can watch the segment that aired this morning---including some spectacular aerial footage of the Fort De Soto area---online by clicking here (pay no attention to Meredith Vieira's unplanned farewell appearance---with a wine glass in tow---in the middle of the segment!).

Newly Designed Website Goes Live at VisitStPeteClearwater.com
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater recently launched the re-skin of its consumer site, VisitStPeteClearwater.com. The new site features an improved navigation with drop-down category icons at the top of the page, along with a series of rotating images and expanded links. A new color palette, feature boxes for timely news and events and embedded video can all be found on the new home page, while newly-designed property listings with large photos and clearly marked price points improved the booking engine results display. As always, our internet marketing team is in the process of tweaking and fine-tuning the site based on user navigation and feedback, so please feel free to contact Internet Marketing Manager Deborah Holland at Deborah@VisitSPC.com with questions or concerns.

New TV and Radio Ads Debut in Key Summer Drive Markets
VSPC's new television spots debuted earlier this week, with radio to follow in the coming weeks. The two TV spots---entitled 'Promises' and 'Play'---were designed to connect with consumers on an emotional level, using sun-splashed beach imagery, inspirational voiceovers and a dynamic score, to create the feel of short cinematic pieces rather than traditional TV commercials. Both ads were filmed at locations throughout the area---from St. Pete Beach to Clearwater Beach---utilizing a local set of cast and crew members. The spots dovetail the recent launch of the '100 Days of Summer' promotion, a multi-medium campaign aimed at driving visitation from the Tampa Bay and Orlando markets.

Lastly, we'd like to thank two guests for their informative presentations at today's meeting. Joe Lopano, executive director of Tampa International Airport, provided an update on his blueprint for expanding international air service to the area, while Andy Squires, Pinellas County coastal manager, briefed the TDC on the status of beach renourishment projects along the county's barrier islands.

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