COVID-19 Industry Update
Feb. 19, 2021
Can you believe March begins a week from this Monday?!
With the start of the destination’s busiest month of visitation nearing, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC) updated the Tourist Development Council (TDC) on Wednesday and its industry partners Thursday at a webinar on VSPC’s latest efforts to drive visitation while helping ensure travelers enjoy the destination safely and responsibly.
As part of its pre-travel “up-stream” strategy, VSPC has launched the “Rise to Shine” pledge, which encourages consumers to commit to four simple actions: mask up, spread out, wash your hands and be patient and kind. By taking the pledge, consumers are entered to win the Ultimate Beach Day Getaway, which is complete with roundtrip air, 4-night hotel stay, a luxury private cabana and all the extras. Through the first three weeks, more than 16,000 people have taken the pledge at UltimateBeachDay.com and 77% have signed up for our enewsletter.
In addition to communicating expectations to visitors before they arrive in destination, VSPC is also rewarding visitors in destination who are following appropriate safety protocols. Sunshine Steward Street Teams will be roaming popular locations throughout the destination from late February through mid-April surprising visitors with $25 gift cards to be spent at local businesses who have opted into the “Rise to Shine” program, which is free and still open for local businesses to participate in.
VSPC’s spring efforts have already been highlighted in this New York Times story “Spring Break’s New Look: Older and Socially Distant.”
VSPC also shared the latest COVID sentiment research from Destination Analysts and spring visitation forecasting data. You can watch the full webinar and access materials here.
Finally, VSPC released a preliminary report on Super Bowl LV, which included a recap video covering its week-long efforts. The complete report can be found here.
Enjoy these other pertinent updates and your weekend!>
FILM COMMISSION PARTNERS WITH OLYMPIAN FOR DIGITAL CONTENT CREATION
In an effort to reach consumers with content on different digital platforms, St. Pete/Clearwater’s Film Commission recently partnered with two-time Olympian runner Nick Symmonds. Symmonds, who has more than 330,000 subscribers on YouTube, has released two of four videos, featuring his fans racing on St. Pete Beach at the Don Cesar and Symmonds racing Nicholas the dolphin at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The next two videos will debut the next two Fridays.
ALLEGIANT ANNOUNCES NEW NON-STOP BETWEEN PIE AND PORTSMOUTH, N.H.
In response to customer demand, Allegiant is adding another non-stop flight to its long list (54) of them at St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport (PIE). Starting June 2, new non-stop service will launch between PIE and Portsmouth, N.H. Also, Allegiant CFO Greg Anderson was recently spotlighted by CNBC on Allegiant’s post-pandemic outlook, which is very positive.
BLUE JAYS BEGINNING 2021 MLB SEASON IN DUNEDIN
On Thursday, the Toronto Blue Jays made official that they will open the 2021 MLB season in Dunedin at TD Ballpark with the first game April 8. The Blue Jays call Dunedin home for its spring training activities and are planning to welcome around 1,000 fans per game. The plan for now is to play the first two home stands in Dunedin, which are April 8-14 and April 27-May 2. The team will wait on making a decision for where it plays the rest of the season.
EUROPEAN CONSUMER SURVEY GIVES TOURISM HOPE FOR SUMMER
According to a Europe-wide survey on behalf of the European Travel Commission (ETC), 54 percent of those surveyed want to travel in the next 6 months, while 41 percent are planning a trip to other European countries. Of those with travel plans, 54 percent intend to fly and 36 percent expect to drive. More than a third of the respondents plan to travel between May and July and beach holidays lead the way in type of trip.
ADMINISTRATION LISTENS TO TRAVEL INDUSTRY REGARDING DOMESTIC TESTING
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that a COVID-19 testing requirement on domestic air travel won’t be implemented. The news followed a robust cross-sector communications and advocacy effort led by U.S. Travel with the White House. U.S. Travel worked alongside Airlines for America and other travel industry groups to provide analysis and outline implications should it go into effect, citing the many enhanced cleanliness measures already in place.
CDC: VACCINATED NO LONGER HAVE TO QUARANTINE
The CDC recently issued new guidance that people who have been fully vaccinated for the coronavirus no longer need to quarantine if they are exposed to someone who is infected with COVID-19. Important factor is that someone who has received the second of two vaccine doses waits two weeks before being labeled “fully vaccinated.”