Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: A fresh appeal for the bay area

Hillsborough County's tourism promotion agency finally has a sensible name and a thoughtful development strategy. The group last known as Tampa Bay & Co. has become Visit Tampa Bay, and it will change its marketing to highlight Tampa's rich Latin heritage, unique destinations and abundance of high-energy, outdoor activities. This is a good start at introducing the outside world to a place that has more to offer than pirate parades and beaches.

The tourism bureau unveiled the name change and marketing strategy Thursday, after a long effort to explore what business and leisure travelers thought of the area. Changing the name was easy; Tampa Bay & Co. sounded more like the water utility than the people selling excitement to families and conventioneers looking to get away. Visit Tampa Bay is easy to remember and it conveys the accommodating nature that travelers expect of the hospitality industry. It also is broad enough in appeal to drive business across the bridges. That makes sense, as Hillsborough and Pinellas counties both stand to gain from visitors who take the time to explore both sides of the bay.

The marketing plan, called "Unlock Tampa Bay," sounds like a board game, and it will be up to the agency to deliver on the lure of adventure and exploration by lining up programming at the city's signature sites. Still, it is a practical approach for dealing with Tampa's lack of identity in the outside world. It provides a way for Tampa to advertise its museums, theme parks and beaches without competing with Miami, Orlando or Pinellas. And it lends itself to putting more resources into promoting local festivals and heritage tourism, a rich market given the city's old Latin Quarter in Ybor City and its storied immigrant history.

The campaign is fresh, and its visuals are chock full of iconic symbols. Ultimately, though, the agency will need a concrete experience to sell. It has plenty to work with: The downtown Riverfront is nearly complete, new parks and museums are in place and the 87-year-old Tampa Theatre was just named by the Motion Picture Association of America as the world's third-best movie venue. The new campaign can bring real Tampa into focus and play into the search for discovery that is the essence of traveling.

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Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Big Sugar remains king in Florida. Just three of the state’s 27 House members voted for an amendment to the farm bill late Thursday that would have started unwinding the needless government supports for sugar that gouge taxpayers. Predictably, the am...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

This is music to the ears. Members of the Florida Orchestra will introduce at-risk students to the violin this summer at some Hillsborough recreation centers. For free.An $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. will pay for s...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

In barely six weeks, President Donald Trump has gone from threatening to impose $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods to extending a lifeline to ZTE, a Chinese cell phone company that violated U.S. sanctions by doing business with Iran and North K...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Lots of teenagers are walking together this week in Hillsborough County, a practice they’ve grown accustomed to during this remarkable school year.We can only hope they keep walking for the rest of their lives.Tens of thousands of them this week are ...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

A state investigation raises even more concern about medical errors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the venerable St. Petersburg institution’s lack of candor to the community. Regulators have determined the hospital broke Florida law by ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

St. Petersburg’s 3-year-old recycling program has reached an undesirable tipping point, with operating costs exceeding the income from selling the recyclable materials. The shift is driven by falling commodity prices and new policies in China that cu...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Housing Secretary Ben Carson has a surefire way to reduce the waiting lists for public housing: Charge more to people who already live there. Hitting a family living in poverty with rent increases of $100 or more a month would force more people onto ...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Voters should decide whether legal sports betting comes to Florida

Editorial: Voters should decide whether legal sports betting comes to Florida

It’s a safe bet Florida will get caught up in the frenzy to legalize wagering on sports following the U.S. Supreme Court opinion this week that lifted a federal ban. Struggling horse and dog tracks would love a new line of business, and state l...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/16/18