COVID-19 Industry Update
January 29, 2021
On Tuesday, MovieMaker announced that St. Pete/Clearwater made its list of 2021 Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker. St. Pete/Clearwater is the first Florida destination, other than Miami, to ever make the list and did so despite lacking a state film incentive, which many of the other major film hubs on the list enjoy.
“This is a major feather in the cap for our area and the film community,” Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Film Commissioner Tony Armer said. “This is a testament to our beautiful destination, the effort we’ve put into making this a real film community and the resources we’ve put behind our local film incentive program to boost the local economy and shine a spotlight on St. Pete/Clearwater.”
MovieMaker determined the winners using surveys, research on tax incentives and recent productions, and personal visits to most of the locations on the list, as well as the best available information on how destinations are coping with the pandemic.
Armer has put an emphasis on luring independent films to the area as opposed to always trying to land the big Hollywood productions, while also developing the local film community via workshops and supporting local film festivals.
The top 5 cities on the list were: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago and Vancouver. Miami was at No. 8 and St. Pete/Clearwater No. 25.
Here are other pertinent updates you should know about.
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.
REGION RAMPS UP FOR HISTORIC SUPER BOWL LV
Already embracing an unprecedented Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, the region is making even more history by hosting its hometown team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in the big game on Feb. 7. As a founding partner of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is in the final stages of prepping its presence in Tampa for the game. St. Pete/Clearwater will be represented at the Super Bowl Media Center inside the Tampa Convention Center in collaboration with Visit Tampa Bay and at the Super Bowl Experience. VSPC is continuing to pitch media on destination stories to enhance the spotlight brought from hosting the global event. As reminders, it’s imperative to continue following CDC guidelines and Pinellas County’s mask ordinance and other local orders. If you need hand sanitizer or signage, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater’s “Rise to Shine” program is still available for tourism partners.
OUTDOOR MASK ORDER IN PLACE FOR SUPER BOWL IN TAMPA
On Thursday, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor issued an executive order requiring masks to be worn in specific areas of the city until Feb. 13 with the Super Bowl being played on Feb. 7. Masks must be worn outdoors downtown, the Riverwalk, Armature Works, Ybor City, SoHo bar district, Channel District and neighborhoods around Raymond James Stadium.
ST. PETE ARTS ALLIANCE FOUNDER JOHN COLLINS RETIRING IN MARCH
John Collins, the founder and executive director of the St. Pete Arts Alliance, announced he will retire on March 31. Collins and the alliance brought to life St. Pete’s SHINE Mural Festival, the Second Saturday ArtWalk and many other successful projects benefiting the local arts community. “I never expected to be founding a local arts agency 10 years ago,” Collins said in a statement. “I believe we succeeded in filling a vacuum in arts advocacy and leadership at the time, and in creating a supportive and collaborative environment for the growth of our creative community.”
NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST REQUIREMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL IN PLACE
Effective Tuesday, Jan. 26, all international travelers arriving by air into the U.S. require a negative COVID-19 test, per a new CDC order. Travelers are required to get tested no more than three days before traveling back to the U.S. and will have to show the negative test result to the airline before boarding. The CDC also recommends getting tested three-five days after returning and self-quarantining for seven days for all international travel.
U.S. TRAVEL’S ROGER DOW DELIVERS STATE OF AMERICAN TRAVEL INDUSTRY
On Wednesday, U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow delivered an update on the state of the American travel industry. In 2020, the U.S. travel economy lost more than $500 billion, while travel industry unemployment peaked at 51%—more than double the national unemployment rate at the height of the Great Depression. Currently, our industry is projected to take five years to recover. U.S. Travel was very engaged with President Biden’s transition team prior to the inauguration and remains in close contact with the new administration, highlighting the most pressing travel policy priorities for its first 100 days. Learn more from our 100-Day Priorities with the Biden Administration document. Also, U.S. Travel’s new and comprehensive Power of Travel Policy Platform will serve as the roadmap for how to rebuild travel and further elevate our industry.
BRAND USA LAUNCHED COVID-19 DASHBOARD TO HELP WITH INTERNATIONAL MARKETING
Brand USA has compiled a set of indicators to provide a high-level dashboard of current COVID-19-related conditions in an effort to gauge marketing effectiveness and efficiency. The dashboard summarizes how individual markets are performing in relation to recovery targets, which have been designed to help determine when recovery is sufficient for marketing activity. Among the data being included is: travel policy, COVID-19 cases, airline scheduled capacity, Google trends and consumer intent for travel. VSPC has been in close contact with Brand USA and Visit Florida regarding restarting international marketing at the appropriate time.
NEW PINELLAS COUNTY ORDER OUTLINES COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR LARGE GATHERINGS
As the Pinellas Trail celebrates its 30th anniversary, Pinellas County is seeking input from locals and visitors as part of its visioning survey. The survey, managed by the Public Works Department who maintains the trail, includes questions on the future development of the trail and an updated logo. The survey closes at 8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 1.
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.
NEW PINELLAS COUNTY ORDER OUTLINES COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR LARGE GATHERINGS
Pinellas County is enhancing safety for large outdoor events as it continues the fight against COVID-19. County government and municipal officials are taking a unified approach by developing safety standards for large outdoor events of 1,000 or more attendees. Under the new order, organizers for large, outdoor community events of 1,000 or more attendees will be required to create a safety plan that outlines steps to protect patrons from COVID-19.