Visit St. Pete/Clearwater - Resident Perceptions Study

Client: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
Industry: Destination Marketing


Pinellas County, known for its beautiful beaches, cultural attractions, and high population density, heavily relies on tourism. Despite the clear economic benefits, the extent of residents’ understanding of tourism’s impact on their community was uncertain. Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC) sought to gauge local sentiment and awareness regarding tourism to better align its strategies with community needs and perceptions.


To address this challenge, HCP Associates conducted a comprehensive survey targeting a representative sample of Pinellas County residents. This study aimed to capture detailed insights into the community’s views on tourism, including its perceived benefits and drawbacks.

The survey employed rigorous data collection methods to ensure accuracy and reliability. Responses were gathered through a telephonic survey, executed by trained professionals, ensuring a wide range of demographic representation. The survey’s design included both closed and open-ended questions, allowing for a nuanced understanding of residents’ perceptions.

The study revealed several key insights:

  • Positive Perceptions: A significant majority of residents recognized the benefits of tourism, noting its contributions to the local economy, infrastructure improvements, and cultural enrichment.
  • High Recommendations: Residents expressed high levels of satisfaction with Pinellas County as a place to live, work, vacation, and retire.
  • Awareness of VSPC: The survey indicated strong awareness of VSPC and its role in promoting tourism.
  • Tourism Impacts: While tourism was credited with enhancing local amenities and economic growth, concerns were raised about its effects on traffic, crowding, and environmental factors.

The Resident Perceptions Study provided VSPC with valuable data to inform its strategic planning and community engagement efforts. Understanding residents’ views allowed VSPC to address concerns and highlight the tangible benefits of tourism, fostering a more supportive and informed community. The insights gained from the study will help guide future initiatives and ensure that tourism development aligns with the needs and expectations of Pinellas County residents.