Insights From Abroad – Rooster Visits St. Pete/Clearwater
The best PR campaigns are based on in-depth understanding of market trends, audience behaviours, client offerings and knowledge of the media landscape.
Insights can be gathered from sifting through data, quizzing consumers, watching YouTube videos, yet when it comes to promoting destinations, it’s important to seek out information, new places and experiences for ourselves. Not only does this give journalists full confidence in us as PRs, but means we can pick out the key selling points that will drive the best results for our market.
After a successful five years driving the profile of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC), we were lucky enough to combine attending the Annual Marketing Meeting with some in-depth destination familiarisation to pick out the latest and best destination USP’s for the UK market.
Florida, stereotypically renowned for theme parks and retirement homes, transcends the SeaWorld façade and Miami’s emerging Mecca, by offering art lovers and foodies the chance to explore the number one tourism destination on the Gulf Coast – St. Pete/Clearwater.
With a brief to promote VSPC as more than just a beach resort, the team sought out the top hotels and attractions to appeal to UK consumers, from miles of street art and craft beer trails to the oldest shuffleboard club in the world and the fabulous Don CeSar hotel – the epicentre of ‘Fitzgerald’s Florida’.
Boasting 361 days of sunshine, 35 miles of award winning beaches, 30 independent artisanal craft breweries dotting the Pinellas Trial (aka the Gulp Coast) and America’s number one beach, the destination is fast becoming the top holiday destination for international and domestic visitors.
So how has VSPC boomed?
- Growing Airlift
With increased connectivity and availability between the UK and the Sunshine State, travellers can easily visit the destination with cheaper and readily available and accessible airfares. This has been facilitated by a number of new routes including additional flights from the UK to Tampa launching in September 2017.
- Increasing Tourism
With over 102,500 locals currently employed in tourism related businesses in St. Pete/Clearwater, the destination has every area of the market covered.
- Bed Taxes
In 2017, the county is expected to collect over US$50million in bed taxes thanks to the new hotel developments and boom in luxury accommodation available.
- TripAdvisor Accolades
Clearwater Beach #1 beach in America
St Pete Beach #4 beach in America
VSPC is the only destination in TripAdvisor’s list to have two entries, proving the sun-drenched peninsula offers the best beaches.
As a result of the team’s findings, there will be a shifted focus from traditional PR and marketing campaigns to digital content and social campaigns in order to get the VSPC brand better established in the UK market. As one of only two DMO’s in the world to host 360 videos live on the website, visitors can step right inside the destination.
By Libby Allan