Visit Tampa Bay partners with Airbnb to help local tourism rebound and recover from the effects of the pandemic

Tourism, one of Florida’s largest and growing industries before COVID-19, is beginning to recover after taking a massive economic hit in the early months of the pandemic.

As visitors return to help with a slow but sure recovery, Visit Tampa Bay is partnering with Airbnb on its recently launched new pilot project called City Portal to track and better understand the visitor experience. The city of Tampa was chosen as one of 15 pilot cities for the research initiative.

city ​​portal was created exclusively for governments and tourism organizations to help drive recovery and continue its seminal mission of providing a source of revenue for Airbnb hosts.

“We’ve had a strong relationship with Airbnb for years, so this partnership was natural,” says Santiago C. Corrada, President and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. “At Visit Tampa Bay, we always strive to be pioneers and trendsetters in the industry, so when we’re asked to do something that’s never been done before, we’re excited to sign up. .

“Tourism is at the forefront of Hillsborough County’s economic recovery, and Airbnb’s city portal provides us with valuable information on travel trends in the Tampa Bay area, which is helpful as we navigate on the road to tourism recovery.”

Corrada shares that the US Travel Association has projected losses estimated at $505 billion for the industry and 8 million jobs lost nationwide, many small businesses. “In Tampa Bay, our hotel occupancy is down, but better than most [other cities] …an impact that could have been much worse without our recovery efforts.

Tampa Bay government leaders and tourism organizations have turned to Airbnb for help with post-pandemic planning. They sought real-time actionable insights to better understand the Airbnb landscape within their communities, technical support and resources for leveraging tourism to rebuild their community’s tourism economy, and regulatory compliance tools.

City Portal addresses these needs with tools and localized data, resources such as the Airbnb Neighborhood Support Hotline and Law Enforcement Portal, and direct access to an Airbnb team member who can provide assistance. with City Portal or local issues.

“This new portal is a game-changer,” says Corrada. “Now that we’re able to see what occupancy looks like in our neighborhoods, we’ll have a better idea of ​​where our visitors are coming from, where they’re staying, and how they’re impacting our county’s economy.

Corrada looks forward to the long-term results of the partnership. He says Visit Tampa Bay anticipates an increase in the popularity of Airbnb vacation rentals, given the current circumstances brought on by the pandemic.

“Vacation rentals lend themselves well to physical distancing, smaller groups, and even dining options,” he says. “We are excited to see how this will translate to statistical numbers in this new dashboard as we strive to better understand our tourism landscape and move towards continued recovery.”

Learn more about Visit Tampa Bay and city ​​portal.

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