TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 2, 2019) – Visit Tampa Bay President and CEO Santiago Corrada presented HCP Associates with the Crystal Key Award in recognition of 30 years of dedicated partnership with the organization.

“We are grateful to have a firm like HCP Associates as a lifelong partner and appreciate their dedication to our mission; especially as a Tampa-based marketing firm,” Corrada said.

Visit Tampa Bay is the official destination marketing organization for Hillsborough County and is responsible for creating vibrant economic growth by selling and promoting Tampa Bay to the world as a premier destination for meetings, conventions, sporting events and leisure travel.

HCP’s Founder, Pat Hill, said, “Looking back, we participated in so many tourism efforts from the day we hung our shingle, it’s hard to separate.  Among the biggest accomplishments that were related may have been the early role in the task force for bringing cruise ships to Tampa, leading the marketing efforts to build Raymond James Stadium, and co-producing nationally aired children’s programming from Busch Gardens Tampa on the Fox Network.  After 33 years in business, we’ve happily participated in hundreds of meetings and pro bono consulting with many great people at Visit Tampa Bay, FLAUSA and the Department of Commerce/Tourism Division.”

Visit Tampa Bay proudly represents almost 800 businesses in the Tampa Bay area and beyond. Their partners support the overall sales and marketing efforts and provide the foundation for creating a visitor experience that is uniquely Tampa Bay.

HCP’s Managing Partner, Sean Coniglio, said, “Part of our philosophy at HCP is to serve when called upon and give back as much as possible. From 2012 to 2018, I sat on the Marketing Committee, reviewing all marketing and sales activities at Visit Tampa Bay, which benefits the airport traffic, attractions, hotels, museums, restaurants, theme parks and many more organizations that thrive due to tourism. Since that time the DMO has broken records every year. It’s been a wonderful experience to serve with other professionals who work so hard together to make our community thrive.” 

Coniglio added, “In 2005-2006, we were part of a task force committee to create a new non-profit called the Tampa Film Institute which was the catalyst for launching the Gasparilla International Film Festival now in its 13th year. In 2012, we were part of another task force to explore resurrecting the Film Commission. We were successful for making the case to fund the new non-profit operation which is now the Tampa/Hillsborough Film & Digital Media Commission.”

According to Visit Tampa Bay, 2018 was a watershed time for Tampa Bay tourism as a destination. New records were set, and exciting new attractions and experiences are on the rise to encourage even more visitors to unlock Tampa Bay in in 2019.

HCP’s Managing Partner, Eric Polins, said, “After recently returning from a Leadership Florida Business Excursion in London with leadership from Visit Tampa Bay, its abundantly clear how well our global partnerships work with everyone at Visit Tampa Bay. The relationships built here and around the world has consistently increased not only visitors to Tampa Bay, but the experiences they have when they arrive.”

In October 2018, Visit Tampa Bay announced another new benchmark for tourism revenue for Hillsborough County with nearly $34 million in Tourist Development Tax collected in the year that ending September 30. That amounted to a 10.8 percent jump from FY17, when the county collected $30.5 million. Ten of the 12 months of FY18 were record months for TDT revenue.

Over the last five years, TDT in Hillsborough County has grown nearly 60 percent.

Over the past 12 months, Hillsborough County saw hotel revenues grow 8.5 percent to more than $718 million for the fiscal year. Revenue per available room (RevPAR), an indicator of hotel profitability, grew 5.8 percent for the 12-month period, according to industry analyst STR Inc.

“Giving back to the community and accepting leadership positions when you are asked to serve is a huge part in being a good community partner. Back in the early years when I was state President of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), we sought and received state funds to overcome hurricane issues, the expansion of Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and the building of the Florida Aquarium; to mention a few,” Hill said.

Hill reminisced about co-chairing the creation of a Cruise Ship Task Force with Bob Sharpe, the legendary chairman of AAA, to encourage the cruise ship industry to use Tampa as a passenger Port. Hill also served for several years as the Marketing Chair of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce where tourism was one the major initiatives.

In 2019, HCP Associates turns 33-years-old and the mantra of serving when called upon and giving back to community remains a civic and social duty that carries great importance to the partners and staff at the firm.

“We are so very thankful for this thoughtful and beautiful token from our friends at Visit Tampa Bay. We all look forward to continuing to partner and serve with such a necessary organization in our community and our industry,” Coniglio said.