Tampa Bay Out of State Campaign Generates Record Visits, Spending

July 31, 2019 by PR@VisitTampaBay.com

Tampa Bay Out of State Campaign Generates Record Visits, Spending

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Visit Tampa Bay’s Out-of-state campaign produces $70-to-1 return on investment

TAMPA (July 31, 2019) – Visit Tampa Bay reached more than 5.3 million households, predominantly in the Northeast and Midwest, with its largest-ever out-of-state media campaign in 2019 -- directly generating a 20 percent increase in incremental visitation over 2018, according to an independent report by H2R, a marketing research firm specializing in tourism.

H2R studied Visit Tampa Bay’s January-to-April marketing campaign targeting residents in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Toronto, Canada.  The visitation figures reflected incremental travel – the number of visits that can be attributed directly to residents of those cities seeing Visit Tampa Bay advertising and booking a trip as a result. The study also reviewed the likability of the advertising, media efficiency and return on investment.

See the full results of the H2R study here.

“Our entire tourism industry is really hitting the bull’s eye when it comes to reaching potential travelers in our key markets,” said Santiago C. Corrada, President & CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. “Together, those visitors added nearly $70 million to our economy here. That money rippled out to families and businesses far beyond the hotels, restaurants, and attractions that make up the core of the local tourism industry, supporting grocery stores, gas stations, and more.”

All told, tourism added $6.6 billion to the county’s economic bottom line in 2018 and supported 53,000 jobs, according to a separate report by analyst Tourism Economics.

According to H2R, 141,000 incremental room-nights (based on 78,000 bookings) happened in Hillsborough County as a result of Visit Tampa Bay’s marketing. H2R estimates the out-of-state campaign accounted for about 16 percent of the total room nights that booked during that January-to-April timeframe.

“When combined with tour operators, online travel agencies like Expedia, sales missions, conventions and meetings sales and other advertising campaigns, the results of our out-of-state campaign underline the effectiveness of Visit Tampa Bay’s activities,” Corrada said.

Visit Tampa Bay spent around $1 million on advertising across those six markets -- generating a return on investment of $70 to the community for every $1 spent on marketing. The more often someone saw an ad about Tampa Bay, the more likely they were to book a trip, according to H2R. Chicago, Dallas and New York saw the biggest responses to Visit Tampa Bay advertising.

Visit Tampa Bay’s out-of-state campaign was designed by FKQ Advertising + Marketing from Clearwater. It blazed new ground for destination marketing organizations by using streaming services like Roku, wrapping ride-sharing vehicles through Uber and Lyft, and figuring prominently on solar-powered recycling receptacles.

Campaign images are available here. 

The campaign featured bright, colorful visuals of the destination and bold typography framed by a golden line that earned the campaign its name, “Golden Rule.”  Supplemented by digital advertising through Madden Media that included display, geotargeting and retargeting the advertising was found to be effective and appealing with a 75 percent approval overall and a high of 82 percent approval in Chicago (a sharp rebound after last year’s challenges with storms and crime).

The overall traveler profile continued to evolve as more visitors indicated they saw Tampa Bay as a relaxing and safe destination.  Conversely, fewer said they view Tampa Bay as welcoming or a value as prices continue to rise. But those questioned may have been selecting newer options in the survey as “cultural”, “progressive” and “historical” were added to the list. Importantly, the net promoter score – people rate Tampa and Hillsborough County highly -- grew by 6 percent.  Over the past six years the promoter score has jumped from 40 percent to 57 percent.

As part of this year’s campaign, Visit Tampa Bay:

  • Became one of the first destinations to promote itself to specific markets through Discover Inc.’s Connected TV network with thirty-second ads running on streaming services such as Roku, Hulu and network apps.
  • Worked for the first time outside Florida to wrap Uber and Lyft vehicles, creating a fleet of rolling advertisements carrying Tampa Bay’s message of sun, blue skies, and urban adventure.
  • Built on earlier success in Philadelphia with 7.5-second slow-motion videos running on digital bus shelters and with placements on digital panels in high-income, high-traffic parts of Center City.
  • Relaunched in Boston after a two-year break with a strong presence on more than 99 solar-powered recycling kiosks and on 7-foot vertical street kiosks.
  • Returned to Chicago, Dallas, New York and Toronto with high-profile placements on key elements of those cities’ transit systems, including the Path train in New York and New Jersey and the “L” in Chicago, to put Visit Tampa Bay’s message in front of commuters every day.

“Tampa Bay’s combination of unique culinary discoveries, sparkling water, Cuban culture, family fun, and Florida history makes us stand out in a state filled with popular travel destinations,” Corrada said. “We are a natural fit for families seeking fresh experiences and new adventures. The success of this year’s out-of-state campaign shows how strongly visitors are responding to that message.”


About Visit Tampa Bay

The hip, urban heart of Florida’s Gulf coast beats in Tampa Bay. Visit Tampa Bay encourages adventurous travelers to unlock our trove of unique treasures. We are a not-for-profit corporation that works with more than 800 partners to tell the world the story of Florida’s most diverse destination. Treasure awaits.