Travel journalists honor Visit Tampa Bay

February 11, 2015 by PR@VisitTampaBay.com

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TAMPA (Feb. 11, 2015) – The North American Travel Journalists Association has named Visit Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County’s not‐for‐profit tourism marketing company, as the Grand Prize winner among destination marketing organizations in the NATJA’s 2014 awards competition.

Visit Tampa Bay also won a Gold Prize from NATJA for its website, www.visittampabay.com, and a Silver Prize in the Social Media and Marketing Campaign category for its work promoting 2014’s 15th International Indian Film Academy Weekend & Awards gathering in Tampa Bay.

“This is an incredible honor,” said Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. “Our staff worked very hard last year to build our new brand and to make IIFA a success. We’re deeply grateful that NATJA chose to celebrate that work with us.”

The awards come a year after Visit Tampa Bay rebranded itself and launched its new website. The brand draws from Tampa Bay’s rich heritage and cultural diversity and urges travelers to “Unlock Tampa Bay.” A key part of the message is communicated through iconography: a new logo that includes a keyhole above crossed keys and suggests a pirate’s treasure chest.

The new website targets vacationers, meeting planners and 700 community partners. It builds upon the “Unlock Tampa Bay” message in a way that meets the needs of each audience.

The IIFA marketing effort included banners hung along the streets in downtown, an iPad app and IIFAthemed microsite within Visit Tampa Bay’s main website – all of them aimed at the 30,000 visitors who came to Tampa Bay for the awards. In the end, IIFA generated nearly $20 million in direct spending and $26.4 million in overall economic impact. It also generated 13.2 billion media impressions worldwide.

Visit Tampa Bay will be recognized with the rest of this year’s NATJA winners at the opening night celebration of the association’s annual conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, May 4‐9.

Visit Tampa Bay leads the effort of economic development through tourism. The mission of Visit Tampa Bay is to create vibrant economic growth for the Tampa Bay area by selling and promoting the Tampa Bay destination. The independent not-for-profit organization represents more than 700 businesses throughout the area and works to ignite interest for Visiting Tampa Bay.