USA Today polled its readers and the results are in: Clearwater Beach is the "Best Beach Town In Florida." That means lengthy feature articles in the nation's most-widely read newspaper plus other marketing opportunities.
"Our web site, all of our social media, all of our marketing, all of the collateral that we do all year long will posses this badge of honor," confirmed Darlene Kole, director of the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Visit St. Pete-Clearwater, Pinellas county's tourism bureau, deliberately targeted the USA Today poll. The newspaper listed 10 beach town candidates, and Pinellas wound up with more than 25 percent of the votes. The chamber and the tourism bureau implored Facebook and Twitter followers to vote, even pointing out the poll permitted "one vote per device," meaning someone could vote on their computer and their tablet and their smart phone.
VSPC even hired a banner plane, directing viewers to a web site that routed them to the poll.
Tourism is by far Pinellas county's largest employer, and the numbers of visitors and the money they spent broke several records in 2012. Tourism officials think 2013 will be even better, barring unforeseen disruptions such as hurricanes, oil spills and terrorist threats.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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