May 16, 2013 TDC Recap

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dear Industry Partner:

Below you'll find just a few highlights from this month'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.

March Sets All-Time Pinellas County Bed Tax Record
March 2013 set an all-time record for single-month Tourist Development Tax in Pinellas County, bringing in $4.96 million and posting a 10% year-over year increase from March 2012. Strong visitation from Chicago/Midwest and the greater NYC led the way, as did a surprising uptick in European visitors, which was attributed to the success of direct air service between Tampa and Zurich via Edelweiss Air, now in its second year. With the CVB's FY2013 at the halfway point, bed tax collections to-date are up 11% over FY2012, and the continued upward trend and forecast for summer continues to look positive.

"Where Summer Rocks" Campaign Kicks Off Memorial Day Weekend
VSPC's all new summertime campaign---"Where Summer Rocks" ---kicks off over Memorial Day Weekend, with all-new creative including TV, radio, online, print and billboards. The campaign, which includes a 100-day calendar of events and a Rock Star Getaway sweepstakes, targets the area's traditional summer drive markets in the greater Tampa Bay and Orlando areas. VSPC's winter marketing campaign, "iNeedSun," which targeted the greater Chicago and NYC areas, ended in April and generated more than 190,000 entries for its "Winter Escape" sweepstakes, with over 53,200 text-to-win entries alone.

VSPC Unveils First-Ever Destination Magazine, Gulf to Bay
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater's much-anticipated new Destination Magazine, Gulf to Bay, began worldwide distribution earlier this month. The CVB's first-ever magazine aimed at both visitors and locals, the 100-page glossy publication was produced in partnership with the Tampa Bay Times and is the largest format magazine of any destination in Florida. Gulf to Bay replaces the area's traditional Visitors Guide and follows the latest industry trends by inspiring readers with stories and images, then directing them to a printed companion piece for listings or online for up-to-date information. The magazine, which has a print run of 275,000 copies, will be inserted into targeted subscriptions of the Orlando Sentinel this weekend and in the Tampa Bay Times over Memorial Day weekend, with targeted regional distributions planned for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times later this summer. Order your FREE copy here.

Hello, Chief: Content Gets Smart
The much-anticipated new "Get Smart" content technology is now deployed on , which means that site visitors will begin receiving targeted content depending on where they are logging on from. For example, in-state site visitors might be shown last-minute summertime specials or upcoming events, while those logging in from Canada or the Northeastern US would receive content appropriate to their particular regions. The same technology allows visitors to be served content based on demonstrated interests and other web-browsing patterns, such as whether they have visited the site before or previously signed up to receive a newsletter or Destination Magazine. March FY2013 reported the second highest number of website visitors over time and neared all-time high visitation numbers. More than 520,000 page views were recorded during the month of March, which is an increase of 22% year-over-year.

Please note that due to scheduling conflicts, the June TDC meeting has been canceled, so we'll see you at the next TDC meeting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 17, 2013.

We hope you find this information valuable, and we look forward to a busy summer.




David Downing
Deputy Director
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater