The 2016 Best Destination Website? This one.

September 16, 2016 by Kevin Wiatrowski

The 2016 Best Destination Website? This one.

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Following a string of recent state and industry accolades, Visit Tampa Bay has been honored with a national award for Best Destination Website ( at this year’s meeting at ESTO, U.S. Travel Association’s Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations held in Boca Raton.

“It’s a tremendous honor to have our nation’s top tourism group recognize the quality of Visit Tampa Bay’s online window on the world,” said Santiago Corrada, President & CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, which markets Hillsborough County tourism. “Visit Tampa Bay’s redesigned website has become a key touchpoint for vacationers, meeting planners and media alike.”

Visit Tampa Bay’s mobile-first responsive website was overhauled over the past twelve months to upgrade content, visual appeal and ease of use.  The online home provides a one-stop shop for visitors planning trips to Hillsborough County and the broader Tampa Bay region. Through the site, visitors can book hotel rooms, buy CityPASS tickets to the region’s top attractions, explore a detailed calendar of events and keep up to date on the destination through the blog.

Another important feature of the site is the Story Hub, an extensive collection of destination stories created for Visit Tampa Bay by Arizona-based Madden Media. The stories, written by both local and visiting writers, give visitors a deeper understanding and different perspectives of what it’s like to join the fun at Tampa Bay’s landmark Gasparilla Pirate Invasion, discover deeply rooted Cuban culture in Ybor City, and sample the spectrum of craft beers that has made the region a leader in that industry.

“We write real stories,” said Howard Tietjen, a partner with Madden Media. “Travel enriches our lives, and our stories help readers picture themselves discovering the trove of experiences available in Tampa Bay, a destination rich with history, culture and adventure.”

Visit Tampa Bay was among 14 destinations honored for their tourism marketing efforts – one of four from Florida. Greater Fort Lauderdale, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island, and Naples, San Marco Island and the Everglades were the others.  Other destinations honored by ESTO included San Diego; Portland, Oregon; Huntington Beach, California; Philadelphia; and Dallas.