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Pinellas tourism down but not as bad as expected

Fewer tourists visited Pinellas County this April compared to last year, but the general attitude at the monthly meeting of the Tourist Development Council on Wednesday was that things could be worse.

The number of tourists visiting Pinellas dropped by 7.7 percent from the same time last year, a smaller drop than previously projected.

Pinellas is doing well compared to other Florida travel destinations such as Orlando, said Chairman Calvin Harris.

"We are counting on a very good drive market and European market to beat back the wolves so to speak," Harris said after the meeting.

"As the stimulus kicks in they are going to want to take vacations. They probably will be shorter, but they will still take them."

Chairman Harris said that the council is not planning any additional budget cuts.

Tampa International Airport had more than 1,754,000 passengers this April, more than an 8 percent drop from last April. Passenger traffic at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport was up 6 percent for the month.

Pinellas tourism down but not as bad as expected 06/10/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 6:50pm]
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