October 18, 2013 TDC Recap

Monday, November 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.

August Tax Collections Help Set Another FY Record
Despite a FY12 August bolstered by the Republican National Convention a year ago, FY13 tax collections were just .54% behind the record-setting month. The Tourist Development Tax brought in almost $2.2 million, which is the second-highest August to date and helped set another FY record at more than $29 million, surpassing last year's total ($28.7 million) with September yet to come. If September's TDT matches FY12, it will be the first time tax collections eclipse the $30 million mark.

VSPC's UK, Central European Offices Present Year-End Recap
London-based Venessa Alexander and Germany-based Marion Wolf, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater's international sales representatives in UK and Central Europe, gave insight into their in-market sales plans from FY13. Alexander highlighted a partnership with British Airways Holidays, which included a digital and print campaign that resulted in 37 million impressions. Wolf saw similar results with an annual partnership with FTI, one of Central Europe's largest tour operators, as its campaign garnered 42 million impressions. Both representatives have been in the area this week conducting site visits, catching up on the latest area developments and making presentations to the local tourism industry.

St. Pete/Clearwater Fares Well In Online Perceptions Survey
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater's online perception survey, which was conducted by VSPC's advertising agency of record BVK, gauged the area's overall reputation, asking both repeat and potential visitors their opinions of the destination as a whole. Nearly half of potential visitors surveyed rated St. Pete/Clearwater as a "vacation destination on the way up" and 26% of repeat visitors labeled the area as America's next "hot" vacation destination, indicating significant brand momentum for the area. The study also showed areas where St. Pete/Clearwater outpaces Tampa in visitor perception, but concludes that Tampa's "city" vibe complements the world-class beaches, resorts and cultural offerings on this side of the Bay.

Again, these are just a few highlights of the meeting. Please note that in lieu of next month's TDC meeting there will be a joint visioning session with the Board of County Commisioners at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 12 at the Collaborative Labs at St. Petersburg College Epicenter (13805 58th St. N, Clearwater, FL). Meanwhile, all of the regular monthly reports will be on file and posted online at PinellasCVB.com.



David Downing
Deputy Director
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater