There are many ways product marketers try to influence your buying behavior. One of those products are tourist destinations such as Washington, DC and Tampa Bay, Florida. Of course, their efforts are not devious or subliminal, but marketing professionals find creative ways to get their message to you about their product.
To drive people to DC, the DC government added a four-year increase of the city’s hotel tax — from the current 14.95% to 15.95% — to help cover its marketing costs. DC’s annual budget is $25 million; Tampa, by comparison, is about $5.5 million and funded by a 6% tax on overnight accommodations.
As a part of their campaign, Visit Tampa Bay invited Port of Harlem to a Capitol Hill restaurant they rented just to get us and others acquainted with The Big Guava. Their whole objective was to get our attention and encourage us to share a bit of Tampa Bay with you. Champion Services Travel’s Bernadette Champion have also had similar experiences with familiarity trips from San Francisco to The Netherlands. Ruth Bridges of Aviva Travel agrees that our knowledge of an area adds value to the experience of travelers.
The Tampa event was simple with several local chefs cooking and serving some of their most popular dishes. Rocca, an Italian restaurant, served Agnolotti, small pieces of flattened pasta dough with a salame calabrese ricotta filing, cherry tomatoes, and garlic breadcrumbs. And Psomi, served Bougatsa, a Greek semolina custard with cinnamon butter and baklava syrup. I could have taken some of the Bougatsa home.
Well, their effort worked. The event put Tampa Bay on my radar screen.