Make us your home page
Instagram

Survey: Tampa Bay left good impression on Republican National Convention visitors

TAMPA — Visitors arrived for the Republican National Convention in August amid the threat of Hurricane Isaac, protesters and political theater.

No worries. They still left town with a measurably better impression of the region, according to a Tampa Bay Partnership survey released Tuesday.

In fact, positive perceptions of the eight-county bay area jumped nearly 18 percent on average based on pre- and post-RNC surveys of 1,200 delegates, attendees and journalists, more than four-fifths of whom were first-time visitors.

"A lot of people came with little or no impression of Tampa Bay. That can be a good thing, starting with a clean slate," said Rick Homans, CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp.

The results showed organizers met their goal to "move the needle" during what was viewed as a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity to enhance the bay area's image, said Stuart Rogel, the partnership's president and CEO. More then 50,000 visitors converged on downtown Tampa for the weeklong event, which put the area in the national spotlight for several days.

Market Enhancement Group of San Diego interviewed the RNC visitors by telephone three weeks before the convention and again two to three weeks after the convention.

The survey covered 27 attributes to measure changes in perceptions of the bay area as a desirable place to expand, locate a business, visit and live. Some of the biggest gains came in response to questions about whether they would recommend the region to a friend or business associate, air quality and cultural activities such as ballet, theater and art museums.

Measured on a 10-point scale, the view of the area as "a region I would like to live in" rose 2.32 points to 7.55 while perceptions that this is "a region I would like to work in" jumped 2.7 points to 6.61. The biggest gain came in response to whether the bay area is "a region I would recommend to a friend or business association," rising from 3.89 before the convention to 7.63 after.

"The areas where we made the biggest improvement are key measures which support our ongoing and business development efforts," Rogel said.

Among the three types of visitors surveyed, the biggest jump came among the media visitors, who had the lowest perceptions of the Tampa Bay area before the RNC.

Local economic development and tourism promotion officials expect the improvement in the area's image to pay off. Tampa Bay & Co. is working with "three really strong leads" to bring other conventions here as a result of the RNC, said Doug McClain, the organization's vice president of marketing. And the tourism agency is shifting money to bring more meeting planners to the area on introductory visits. "If we can get them here," McClain said, "half the battle is won."

Times staff writer Richard Danielson contributed to this report.

Survey: Tampa Bay left good impression on Republican National Convention visitors 10/30/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 9:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  3. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO

    Corporate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Sherry Smith is taking over as CEO at Triad Retail Media, the company announced Monday. | [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  5. Two new condo projects for same street in downtown St. Pete

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — It lacks the panache and name recognition of Beach Drive, but 4th Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg is becoming a condo row in its own right.

    Bezu, a condo project planned at 100 4th Ave. N in downtown St. Petersburg, will have 24 units including a three-level penthouse with infinity pool.
[Courtesy of Clear ph Design]