CLEARWATER, Fla. — As Pinellas crews continue daily efforts to clean up the dead fish littering the county's beaches as a result of the ongoing red tide bloom, Clearwater city and tourism leaders are out to remind tourists there are other reasons why St. Petersburg/Clearwater is a tourism destination.
- Charter fishing boats still operating amid red tide
- Clearwater Beach seeing effects of red tide
- Dead fish return to Pinellas County beaches
City officials told us 295 yards of dead fish and seaweed have been collected off Clearwater Beach. To promote tourism in the midst of that, effective communication with the public is key.
"So our job right now is to communicate what are the best circumstances, what is the most accurate information," said Visit St. Pete/Clearwater president David Downing. "So we do on a daily basis, sometimes twice daily basis, at points all up and down the beach, beachesupdate.com, letting people know beach by beach, hour by hour, what's going on."
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater and the City of Clearwater are also active on social media, reminding residents and visitors about other activities our area has to offer as we head into the fall.
"The craft beer trail is something else that has been very popular and something that we push very heavily," Downing explained. "The growing culinary destination, nightlife, arts, always arts and culture, so there are many messages that we push year-round. They're part of the brand, they're part of what St. Pete/Clearwater is."
"What we're doing is we're focusing a little more heavily on those until such time as we can go back to our ordinary messaging," he added.
In addition, Clearwater Marine Aquarium is offering some residential deals and food drives to bring in guests.
"We reach out broader under this current situation," said CMA chief marketing officer Bill Potts. "We reach out broader into the driving market to come see us because there's so much to do here — our boats are still running, our animals are still inspiring, so it's a great place to be."
Clearwater city leaders and tourism experts told us they plan to launch promotional campaigns once the red tide bloom has ended.