COVID-19 Industry Update

As St. Pete/Clearwater enters the first weekend since the beaches reopened, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is deploying 300 deputies from Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs to Fort De Soto Park to help manage crowds and ensure the beaches can stay open with proper physical distancing.

Starting at 1 p.m. Friday, the Sheriff’s Office will be updating a beach capacity dashboard so beachgoers can plan ahead based on real-time information regarding parking and beach capacity, including closures. The Sheriff’s Office will also be posting status updates throughout the weekend on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, Pinellas County staff will be updating digital signage to help direct beachgoers to the nearest safe beach if beaches become too crowded.

In addition, the 25% occupancy restraint is derived specifically from the restaurant’s license and is for indoor seating, which means it has four walls and a roof over it. Any other seating does not count against that 25%, but all seating should be 10 people or less and 6 feet apart regardless of indoor or outdoor. Patrons cannot sit at a bar that is serving alcohol, but if the bar isn’t serving it can be used as seating.

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater has continued to update its hub of information for locals and visitors, including tips for visiting responsibly and reopening specifics.

SUCCESSFUL REGIONAL NATIONAL TRAVEL & TOURISM WEEK WEBINAR

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater held a webinar in partnership with Florida’s Sports Coast (Pasco County) and Visit Tampa Bay on Thursday with more than 330 regional partners. The webinar featured U.S. Travel Association’s Roger Dow and Visit Florida’s Dana Young. You can access the recording here.

VISIT ST. PETE/CLEARWATER MARKETING UPDATE

VSPC is developing a three-phased marketing plan that includes launching low funnel tactics, like paid search and paid social media, as early as next week. The phased plan includes observing certain indicators—like traveler sentiment, website traffic, search volume, STR data, Arrivalist’s Daily Travel Index, foot traffic at local businesses and others—before launching specific phases and elements.

Already in May, website traffic, search volume and destination magazine requests have been improving, noting the increase in traveler interest.

In addition, VSPC has launched its own custom traveler sentiment research and will host a webinar with industry to share findings once available.

NEW VSPC WEBSITE LISTING DATA FIELDS COMING

We want to make sure we’re communicating your business’ most up-to-date information, so we’re adding new fields to profiles on VisitStPeteClearwater.com. The new fields will allow for modified hours, noting menu/delivery options, temporary closures and the postponement of events.

Stay tuned for a separate email in the coming days alerting that the new fields are available and updates to your business profile can be made.

CARES SMALL BUSINESS GRANT UPDATE

Since the application opened on Monday, more than 2,000 applications have been completed. Pinellas County is reviewing each application and will issue grants to eligible businesses as quickly as possible.

Tips for applicants, like ensuring a complete and accurate application before submittal, are included in a regularly updated FAQ page. Here is a county PSA on the program.

POWER OF TRAVEL COALITION SUPPORT FOR NEW BILL

U.S. Travel Association is asking for support for a new bill H.R. 6697, the “Local Chamber, Tourism, and 501(c)(6) Protection Act of 2020,” which would allow all types of destination marketing organizations—including both 501(c)(6) and quasi-governmental entities—with fewer than 300 employees eligible into the Paycheck Protection Program.

You can participate in the Power of Travel Coalition effort here.

U.S. TRAVEL ROLLS OUT INDUSTRY GUIDELINES

Under the leadership of the U.S. Travel Association, the travel industry released “Industry Guidance for Promoting the Health and Safety of All Travelers.” The guidance was developed in close collaboration with health and medical professionals, as well as with organizations throughout the broader travel industry, and lists six key areas where companies across segments and sectors can approach public health and safety consistently.

AIRLINES ROLL OUT MASK REQUIREMENTS, OTHER PROGRAMS

Major U.S. airlines, including American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue and United, announced recently that all passengers would be required to wear face coverings during flights for the foreseeable future.

In addition, Allegiant Airlines has started providing complimentary personal health and safety kits to all passengers as they board their flights. The kits include a single-use face mask, a pair of non-latex disposable gloves and cleaning wipes.

3 DAUGHTERS FEATURED ON NATIONAL TV

Earlier this week, 3 Daughters Brewing was featured on Live with Kelly & Ryan. The segment highlighted the brewery and its efforts around making sanitizer and providing it to the community for free, in addition to honoring the brewery's moms in advance of Mother’s Day. The segment reached a national audience of more than 3 million people.

CONNECT MARKETPLACE UNVEILS PLAN FOR IN-PERSON EVENT

Earlier this week, Connect Marketplace 2020 detailed its plan for holding its annual in-person event, which is slated for New Orleans Aug. 17-19. The Health & Safety plan includes temperature checks before entering the event, cloth mask requirements and new appointment designs to allow for physical distancing practices, among many other items.


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