September 12, 2012 TDC Recap

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dear Industry Partner:

Below you’ll find just a few highlights from this morning’s monthly Tourist Development Council meeting. As usual, we have posted the agenda online on our industry website with clickable links to all of the individual monthly 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 every month.

July Sees Record Tax Collections; Preliminary August Numbers Off the Charts
The record-breaking year continued in July, with Tourist Development Tax revenues rising 8.14% year-over-year for a monthly total of nearly $2 million. To date, FY 2012 bed tax collections total some $24.8 million, putting the area more than 11% above pace from this time last year and near-record levels with two months of collections still to go. Also, according to preliminary Smith Travel Report August numbers posted on Hospitality Net , the Tampa-St. Petersburg area recorded the largest performance increases among the Top 25 U.S. markets, with occupancy rising 48%, Average Daily Rate surging by 107%, and Revenue Per Available Room skyrocketing more than 206% to $125.23.  

'100 Days of Summer' Campaign Concludes with 100,000 Sweepstakes Entries
100 Days of Summer, VSPC’s summer campaign aimed at the drive markets of Orlando and Tampa Bay, ended with a bang on Sept. 4th, drawing a total of more than 100,000 entries during the 14-week promotion. The campaign landing page, which had nearly 100,000 page views  and a stunning 36 percent click-thru rate, was one of several platforms VSPC leveraged to promote the sweepstakes. Others included Visit St. Pete/Clearwater’s mobile site, as well as the VSPC Facebook page, which garnered 35,000 new “likes” as part of a Facebook ad campaign that generated more than 67 million impressions and drew visitors to a contest landing page.  

Website Sets Single-Month Visitation Record
Impacted by the success of the “100 Days of Summer" campaign, experienced the highest number of visits ever recorded in a single month---more than 214,000---which represents a 130% year-over-year  monthly increase from 2011. Additionally, overall Signals of Intent to Travel were up as well, with Visitor Guide orders at a new record for the year and views to the online Visitor Guide also reaching top readership. VSPC’s mobile website and social media pages saw significant increases as well, continuing a trend that sets 2012 on track to be one of the best performing years since 2008.

VSPC's TV Ads Named Best in State at Florida Tourism Awards Ceremony
VSPC took home three awards at the 45th Annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism last week in Orlando, including a “Henry”---the top award presented---for Television Advertising with its ‘Promises’ and ‘Play ’ TV commercials.  VSPC also won a silver award for its Out-of-Home New York Winter Blitz Campaign---which  featured custom-wrapped double-decker buses and branded trains and subway posters---as well as a bronze award for its “Every Day is Sun Day” Print Advertising campaign. The awards, named for Henry Flagler, the famed Florida railroad and hotel magnate, honor individuals, businesses and organizations that maintain or improve the state’s place as one of the world’s top destinations. 

We hope you find this information valuable, and we look forward to continuing the record-setting year as it winds down. 

We look forward to seeing you at next month's Marketing Meeting, which will take place on Monday, Oct. 8, as well as at the TDC meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 9 a.m.




David Downing
Deputy Director
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater