COVID-19 Industry Update
September 10, 2020
Leading into what was a busy Labor Day weekend across St. Pete/Clearwater (Friday occupancy was up 22.1% and Saturday 39.9% year-over-year, according to STR), Visit St. Pete/Clearwater successfully launched “Rise to Shine,” the destination’s Visiting Safely & Responsibly campaign.
In total, the media coverage tied to the launch has generated more than 2 million impressions across Tampa Bay Times, ABC Action News, Channel 10 News, St. Pete Catalyst and FOX 13 News, among others.
But we’re not done. We need as many businesses as we can representing the clear and consistent campaign messaging. Sign up to participate for free HERE!
Our team is actively reaching out to businesses across the county to get engaged with the campaign, which will run as long as it’s needed to restore traveler confidence and keep St. Pete/Clearwater top-of-mind locally, regionally and in Orlando, our No. 1 market.
Need more information and background on participating? WATCH THIS VIDEO!
Also, we’ve developed a toolkit for any businesses to utilize. The toolkit includes digital banners, animated GIFS and more.
While the Rise to Shine campaign is a significant effort, it’s not the only marketing VSPC is running. We continue our digital marketing efforts and are increasing spend with the launch of a number of new programs with Expedia, TripAdvisor and others.
TOURIST DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
Applications are now being accepted through Wednesday, Sept. 16, for appointments to the Tourist Development Council (TDC). There are currently seven positions open for appointments with three of those coming from the elected officials category---one from St. Pete, one from Clearwater and one from recommendations provided by the Barrier Islands Government Council (BIG-C). Of the remaining four openings, at least one appointment must be from the tourism-related category and at least two must be from the hotel/motel category. Another appointment will be from either of those two categories. Terms will begin on Nov. 1, 2020 and expire on Oct. 31, 2024. Mandatory applications can be found here and must be received no later than 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16. The Board of County Commissioners will review all applications and make appointment decisions at a future board meeting.
AIRPORTS SEE SIGNIFICANT PASSENGER VOLUME FOR LABOR DAY WEEKEND
Confirming the STR weekly report, St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport saw a 12.1% year-over-year increase in passengers, while Tampa International Airport (TPA) had its busiest day since March. Also, starting starting Dec. 13, Swoop Airlines announced new seasonal nonstop twice-weekly service from TPA to Toronto. The route will expand to four times a week in February.
PINELLAS CARES WEBINAR SERIES FOR BUSINESS LAUNCHED TODAY
Need help applying for the Pinellas CARES Local Business Grant? Join Pinellas County for a series of informative Zoom webinars to get answers to your questions about eligibility, documents and the application process. Session One (Program Overview & Eligibility) was at noon today (recorded resources will be available) with Session Two (Documents You Need to Apply) at 2 p.m. Friday and Session Three (Submitting a Complete Application) at 10 a.m. Tuesday. All sessions will last 30-45 mins and you can join them here.
LOCAL BUSINESSES NEED TO ENCOURAGE EMPLOYEES TO TAKE CENSUS
As of early September, only about 65% of homes in Pinellas County had responded to the census. Florida lost around $950 in federal funding for every person who didn’t take the 2010 census, totaling around $20 billion. Avoid losing another 10 years of funding for schools, health care, roads and more – not to mention fair political representation. Help us get a complete count: Tell your employees and everyone you know to take the census by Sept. 30 at My2020Census.gov or 844-330-2020.
PAIR OF ARTS GRANT WORKSHOPS AVAILABLE
Next week offers local artists and arts businesses a pair of workshop opportunities to help them take advantage of two different local arts grants. The first is at 1 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, for the Pinellas Cares Micro-Grants, which is to help support writers, performers, muralists, dancers, fine artists, musicians, photographers and more. The second is at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16, for the Pinellas County Emerging Artist Grants, which recognizes local artists who have a strong portfolio of work, a vision for their future and a commitment to show their work at an exhibition.
VISIT FLORIDA LAUNCHES IN-STATE MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Last week, Visit Florida launched a new in-state marketing campaign to help support the state’s economic recovery and struggling tourism labor market. The campaign will remind Floridians that their home state offers world-class tourism opportunities that most people must travel to other states and countries to experience. “This new intrastate marketing campaign is the latest step we’re taking to help get people back to work,” said DeSantis. “While the pandemic is not over, and safety remains paramount, we encourage Floridians to venture out of their homes to enjoy everything our beautiful state has to offer.”
GOVERNOR DESANTIS HOLDS ROUNDTABLE WITH LOCAL BREWERIES, BARS
Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis and Secretary of Department of Business & Professional Regulation Halsey Beshears held a roundtable with local breweries and bars to discuss reopening this segment of businesses. Breweries and bars are to remain closed unless they have a food license to operate as a restaurant. You can watch the roundtable here.