By Santiago Corrada, President & CEO, Visit Tampa Bay
Issue 1 July 21, 2020
We All Have A Role To play In Defeating This Global Health Crisis

In the wake of the pandemic that shook the travel industry to its very core, Visit Tampa Bay redefined what it meant to be a destination marketing organization in a time when leisure, meetings and business travel was simply nonexistent. While our resources were limited, our hearts still had so much to give. Our organization has an unwavering commitment to our partners, community and visitors. Because when travel is stripped away, those are the people who remain and matter the most. 
Over the past few months we have kept our industry informed by offering webinars, regular newsletters and streamlined crisis communications with regional destination marketing organizations. On a community level, we donated essential supplies, partnered on food drives for hospitality workers and fundraised for Feeding Tampa Bay. 
As businesses began to reopen and show promise, travel intent did the same. Visit Tampa Bay strategically launched a recovery advertising campaign focused on open-air adventures. The campaign launched digitally in the coveted drive market with promising results within its first month. From a PR perspective, we selectively developed national media opportunities that resulted in 2.3 million impressions. The three press trips resulted in coverage on CBS Radio’s Eye on Travel, CBS’ food publication ‘Chowhound’, and the top family vacation blog, Traveling Mom.
We are gradually strengthening confidence in the meetings sector by actively communicating with meeting planners on future business. In addition to our Tampa Prepared resources, which outlines how Tampa Bay is responsibly conducting group business, we have produced a safe meetings video featuring an inside look at the Tampa Convention Center’s new safety measures. 
Our goal is to communicate that travel is possible if safety is top of mind. Businesses and community partners are making serious commitments to ensure consumer confidence because we all have a role to play in defeating this global health crisis. 
We look to the future as an encouraging foundation for rebuilding our industry. With major new hotels, restaurants, attractions and a Super Bowl on the horizon, I am confident Tampa Bay will emerge stronger than ever and with a renewed commitment to cooperation.