COVID-19 Industry Update
Feb. 5, 2021
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater has been working all week alongside Visit Tampa Bay and the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee promoting our beautiful destination at the Super Bowl Media Center and Super Bowl Experience.
One notable win this week, among dozens of media interviews and highlights, was the successful placement of Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s Nicholas the dolphin making his selection for the big game (spoiler: he picked the Chiefs…). With the help of CMA and VSPC’s NYC-based PR firm, NJF, Nick’s pick has been circulated nationally, including broadcast on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNBC Closing Bell, Fox and Friends and more. Digitally, a CBS News Tik Tok of the footage has passed more than 1 million views.
VSPC will be compiling a complete recap of the efforts surrounding Super Bowl and will share in the coming weeks.
Until then, Go Bucs and enjoy these other relevant updates.
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater’s “Rise to Shine” program and free materials are still available for tourism partners. If you’re in need of masks, hand sanitizer and signage, don’t hesitate to fill out the form on this page and we’ll deliver materials to your business for free.
Below are other pertinent updates.
CLEARWATER WELCOMES OLYMPIC-CLASS SAILING REGATTA THIS WEEKEND
A new U.S.-based racing and training series of Olympic-class regattas is coming to Clearwater this weekend. The West Marine U.S. Open Sailing Series is being hosted by the Clearwater Yacht Club, Clearwater Community Sailing Center, Tampa Bay Charities and Sail Life Thursday-Sunday. The series offers an increase in high-quality Olympic-class racing for U.S. athletes with a long-term goal of attracting top-level international competitors. The series spent two weekends in South Florida and will head to California later this year after its stop locally, which has been supported by VSPC’s Sports & Events team.
VSPC PARTAKES IN VISIT FLORIDA QUIZ NIGHT, DESTINATIONS 2021 IN UK
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater participated in two different travel-related virtual events in the UK last week. Visit Florida wasn’t going to let COVID stand in its way of a highly anticipated annual media and partner event in the UK. Visit Florida’s Virtual Quiz Night took place last Friday and Visit St. Pete/Clearwater was one of a handful of Florida destinations that brought “live” on-location updates to participants. VSPC’s update, which can be viewed here, featured the St. Pete Pier, new Cambria hotel and Dali’s “Van Gogh Alive” exhibit. VSPC also had a strong presence at Destinations 2021, a consumer holiday and travel show that was virtual for the first time. VSPC was one of just three Florida destinations in the Visit USA Pavilion.
PSTA ROLL OUT FOUR NEW ELECTRIC BUSES
About half of Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s fleet is now electric or hybrid with the unveiling of four new electric buses this week. The additions reflect the agency’s ongoing commitment to clean energy and sustainability in all aspects of its efforts to serve the community with quality, efficient public transportation. PSTA now has a total of six electric buses that are battery powered, produce no emissions and each one saves 135 tons of carbon emissions every year versus its diesel counterpart. The agency also has 88 hybrid buses. PSTA hopes to eliminate all diesel buses from its fleet within the next decade.
$80 MILLION EMPLOYMENT SITES PROGRAMS ATTRACTS PINELLAS EMPLOYERS
Pinellas County’s Employment Sites Program, which launched on Jan. 11, is attracting attention from develops and local businesses looking to expand within the county. The program can assist in the construction or redevelopment of industrial (manufacturing and flex) and office buildings that provide growth opportunities for target industry employers hoping to create new jobs. Details and the online application are here. The application period is open until 5 p.m. on March 11.
DESTINATIONS FLORIDA UNVEILS UPDATED TOURISM INDUSTRY REPORT
To help provide education and resources for lawmakers and industry leaders, Destinations Florida and its members updated and augmented 2020’s Destination Promotion: Empowering Florida’s Growth report. The new report is broken into six sections, which includes information on the challenges to tourism growth, including COVID-19 response, and a detailed section on competition, common misconceptions about tourism promotion and information on the roles local tourism promotion organizations, Visit Florida and the private sector play in attracting potential visitors to Florida. Download it here.
CANADA TO QUARANTINE TRAVELERS, SUSPENDING FLIGHTS TO MEXICO & CARIBBEAN
Canada continues to strengthen its restrictions on travel with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcing last week mandatory quarantines in a hotel at the travelers expense and the suspension of airline service to Mexico and Caribbean destinations until April 30.
CDC MASK MANDATE FOR ALL TRANSPORTATION GOES INTO EFFECT
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mask mandate for all travelers and operators traveling on airplanes, trains, subways, buses, taxis and ride shares, as well as at transportation hubs, including airports, terminals, stations and ports has gone into effect.
COVID-19 REGISTRATION PROCESS ANNOUNCED FOR PINELLAS COUNTY
To expedite the COVID-19 vaccination process, the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County and Pinellas County Government partnered to create a new, more robust registration system to manage appointments for those 65 and older. Residents can create an account at PatientPortalFL.com. With more than 250,000 people over 65 years of age and a limited number of vaccine doses, this process will take time and patience is requested. Here is Pinellas County’s vaccine page that has complete and up-to-date info. New appointments will be announced there, as well as on the county’s Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor accounts.