September 28, 2016 TDC Recap

Friday, October 14, 2016

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.

Pinellas TDT Collections Lead Competitive Set, Best Statewide Averages
Pinellas County continued to outpace its competitive set and Florida overall in key tourist metrics in July. Foremost was another record-breaking month in Tourist Development Tax collections , the 35th straight that grew year-over-year. July brought in a total of $4.83 million, an increase of 14% year-over-year (and a 37% increase when factoring in 2016's sixth TDT cent). The record July was driven by notable year-over-year boosts in key hotel metrics, which were some of the strongest in the state: Occupancy (+3.1%), Average Daily Rate (7.7%) and an 11% jump in Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR).

VSPC Leverages Up Cassadee Pope's 'Summer' Hit For Fall Promotion
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is launching a targeted fall marketing campaign promoting its connection to country music star Cassadee Pope. For nearly a month, specially-made TV spots featuring scenes from her hit music video (which has more than 3.2 million views) will run in key feeder markets on Country Music Television (CMT) promoting Pope's private concert on Nov. 9 at the Opal Sands on Clearwater Beach. Viewers can enter to win a trip to St. Pete/Clearwater to attend the concert and meet Pope. Earlier this year, Pope shot her new popular single 'Summer" on Clearwater Beach, featuring exclusive imagery of the destination and a name-drop in the song's opening lines.

New Web Features Include 'Day to Night' Slider, Used-Generated Photos
VSPC continues in the vanguard of destination websites by adding a couple of catchy new features. The first brings a wide array of visitor images (user-generated content or UGC) to the main landing pages throughout, like the Places to Stay and Things to Do pages. The content gives users a more diverse and authentic view of what to expect in the destination. In addition, the individual community pages on the site, like St. Petersburg and Dunedin, give the user the opportunity to engage with a day/night slider, exposing two different photos---one during the day and one at night---from the same perspective. Give it a try!

Capital Funding Update
TDC members approved a preliminary timeline for the launch of the capital funding application process, which will start with an informational meeting (details coming this week) and a late-December deadline for application submission for this year's funding cycle. The applications will then be vetted by a consultant retained by the Tourist Development Council before being submitted for TDC review and, eventually, funding considerations by the Pinellas Board of County Commissioners.

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

David Downing
Executive Director