Partners from across the travel industry joined Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater for its ninth annual 'Beaches and Baseball' event Friday night at a Toronto Blue Jays game versus the Tampa Bay Rays.
If the connection isn't clear, Blue Jays Spring Training has taken place in Dunedin, Florida since 1977, which is located within the St. Pete/Clearwater region.
The Canadian market continues to be strong for the destination, with steady growth reported year-over-year. Part of this is attributed to air access with additional lift regularly coming online, including new daily direct service from Seattle with Alaska Air, capturing visitors from Western Canada.
Leroy Bridges, Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater's digital media & content generation specialist, told PAX that they are also seeing an increase in hotel room inventory, for example more than 2,000 new rooms expected to open in Clearwater Beach over the next few years, including one beachfront Sandpearl property that has already broken ground. In addition, St. Pete Beach has just added The Hotel Zamora - its first new hotel in 30 years.
"The diversity of the destination is something we're blessed with," Bridges said, pointing to the white sand beaches paired with nearby eco-activities. Plus, the town of St. Pete is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance (now with 14 craft breweries) while maintaining its authentic vibe and world-class art scene.
For more information, visit VisitStPeteClearwater.com.
Photo: Dustin Shelton, Alden Beach Resort on St. Pete Beach; Leroy Bridges, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater; Sara Engelskirger, Clearwater Beach Marriott Suites on Sand Key; Matt Prewitt, St. Pete/Clearwater Sports Commission; Kevin Smith, St. Pete/Clearwater Sports Commission; Stephanie Alexander, Sirara Beach Resort on St. Pete Beach; Rob Price, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater; Jen Carlisle, Clearwater Marine Aquarium; and Kirsten Fisher, Clearwater Marine Aquarium.