PINELLAS COUNTY, FL — Ahead of the traditionally busy travel Labor Day Weekend, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, along with local officials, unveiled its Visiting Safely & Responsibly Campaign called “Rise to Shine” Friday at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach.
The nearly $2 million campaign was developed with chambers of commerce and local municipalities to give Pinellas County businesses a unified approach communicating expectations during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the latest traveler sentiment research from Destination Analysts, a San Francisco-based tourism research firm, those who are thinking about packing their bags for a trip — even staycations — want to know what hotels, attractions, restaurants and destinations are doing to keep them safe. The same research is showing an overwhelming number of travelers want to know destinations have strict safety measures in place, like a face covering mandate, and this campaign is designed to communicate that and rebuild consumer confidence.
St. Pete/Clearwater continues to lead the state in many tourism metrics since reopening its beaches, despite nearly 50 percent of American travelers cancelling 2.1 trips on average because of the coronavirus pandemic. While forecasts for travel in the remainder of 2020 is down, especially fall/winter holidays, beach destinations and small towns make up the majority of leisure trips planned for American travelers.
“It’s more important than ever for our destination to demonstrate that you can travel responsibly, and we’re here to support the county face covering ordinance and other safety measures,” VSPC President and CEO Steve Hayes said.
Developed to reach locals, in-market visitors and prospective visitors in the Tampa Bay and Orlando area — St. Pete/Clearwater’s top two markets in the past six months — the campaign consists of robust marketing efforts, including TV and radio, PSTA wrapped buses, presence at both St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport and Tampa International Airport, outdoor billboards, digital and paid media including Google Search, Snapchat geo-filters, Connected TV and more.
“With tourism being Pinellas County’s No. 1 employer, we have to do everything we can to reinvigorate our tourism industry and local businesses during this challenging time and this campaign is a great signal of that support,” Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners Chair woman Pat Gerard said.
All Pinellas County businesses (not just tourism-specific) are invited to participate in the Rise to Shine campaign. From buttons for employees, decals for restrooms and tables, and digital graphics, VSPC is producing items for businesses to display to show support, and spread the Rise to Shine message.
This press release was produced by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. The views expressed here are the author's own.