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$3 billion tourism industry celebrated in Tampa listen

05/08/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Tampa Bay area. The region’s tourism marketing team is trying to make sure Hillsborough County continues to grow its slice of the pie. During a luncheon Wednesday celebrating tourism week in Tampa, new Tampa Bay & Company president and CEO Santiago Corrada said he wants to popularize Tampa as a destination for visitors.

“We have a great region here and our biggest obstacle is that a lot of folks don’t know what a great region it is....

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U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor is in Cuba; will lean about their environment, economy and culture

04/04/13 Seán Kinane & Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tampa-area member of Congress Kathy Castor is in Cuba on what her office calls a fact-finding visit. The Democrat traveled to the socialist island Wednesday and will learn about Cuba's economy, culture, human rights and environment.

While on her trip Castor will speak with the ministry of tourism and a professor of gender studies.

She’ll spend time in Old Havana with small business owners to encoura...

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Host committee expects more than 90,000 hotel room nights for Republican convention listen

08/07/12 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Ken Jones, the president of the Tampa Bay Host Committee for the Republican National Convention said the number of hotel rooms booked for the Republican National Convention is even more than they originally predicted.

“We thought we were going to book 75,000 room-nights. As of this morning we were north of 90,000 room-nights and approaching 100,000. Part of it is I think there’s some come early stay late traffic, part of it is we just got a...

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Sarasota County and City of North Port hold public workshops to decide future of Warm Mineral Springs listen

02/09/12 Doug Driscoll
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The Sarasota County city of North Port is home to a cultural attraction, archeological resource and aquatic habitat called Warm Mineral Springs. In December of 2010, the City and the county purchased the springs for $5.5 million , and they’re now envisioning the future of Warm Mineral Springs under public ownership.

Over the past month, about 500 people attended three workshops hosted by Sarasota County and the City. At one m...

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After lull, Gulf coast tourism in the Tampa Bay area continues to recover listen

02/02/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tourism along the Gulf Coast took a big hit following the 2010 BP oil disaster. The St. Pete – Clearwater area felt the impacts even though their beaches were unaffected. The St. Pete Beach Chamber of Commerce re-capped marketing efforts at an event yesterday which helped the tourism economy recover.

Doreen Moore owns Total Realty Services. That company rents condos a...

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At Walt Disney World President Obama calls for making US leading tourism destination listen

01/19/12 wire reports including AP
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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President Barack Obama says he wants to make America the top travel destination in the world. He picked Walt Disney World to promote his plans to boost tourism ahead of the GOP presidential primary in this crucial battleground state.

Standing in front of Disney's Cinderella's Castle on a picture-perfect day, Obama laid out plans to speed visa processing and make it easier for people in fast-growing China, Brazil and elsewhere to travel to the U.S. He called for a new national strategy to p...

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Governor Scott leaves beach renourishment funding in budget listen

06/07/11 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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The state of Florida boasts of more than 800 miles of beachfront. Some of these beaches erode so much that encroaching waters threaten buildings and worsen the impacts of storm surge. Across the state, a practice known as beach renourishment attempts to stop this. Such projects rely heavily on state funding, which Governor Rick Scott threatened to cut. But $16 million dollars for beach renourishment was not among the items he vetoed when he signed the state budget passed by the Legislature. B...

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Pinellas bed tax revamp may fund new Dali building but not baseball stadium listen

11/16/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Every hotel, resort, and R.V. park in Pinellas County charges guests a five percent sales tax for every night, as long as the duration is under six months. Today the Pinellas County Commission discussed changes to that tax that may mean more dollars will go to a key attraction. Assistant County Attorney Dennis Long says the tax is crucial.

"Each cent generated approximately $4.8 million or we will expect it to generate about that much in 2010."

The tourist development tax, often call...

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Gulf Oil Spill Community Forum Discusses Long-Term Impacts listen

06/16/10 Allie Wilkinson
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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More than 900 people crowded into the Palladium Theater last night to hear scientists, politicians, media experts and industry leaders discuss America’s largest, ongoing environmental disaster. WMNF’s Allie Wilkinson reports from St. Petersburg.

Nearly two months to the day since oil started seeping into the Gulf of Mexico the Tampa Bay community came together to discuss the long term implications and solutions relating to the spill. Chuanmin Hu, an Associate Professor at the College...

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Crist tours Pinellas beaches, hears local oil concerns listen

06/07/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster might not be washing up on Tampa Bay’s shores, but local leaders are saying they want to be ready if it does. Today, Governor Charlie Crist visited the Pinellas beaches and got an earful about the sweeping impacts oil would have, as well as the havoc oil fears have already wrought on the local economy.

Governor Crist’s first ...

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