The tourism agency Visit St. Pete-Clearwater is taking a proactive approach to keeping residents and visitors safe in the next few months as folks from elsewhere descend on Pinellas County beaches and businesses for spring break.
What's happening: Teams have begun deploying around the beaches to give out $25 Visa gift cards to visitors displaying safe pandemic behavior — like wearing masks while entering businesses or practicing social distancing on beaches.
- The agency hopes people use the cards for purchases at local businesses.
It's also asking visitors to take a "Rise to Shine" pledge, promising to wear a mask, stay six feet apart, wash their hands, and be patient and kind.
- Those who sign the pledge are entered to win a free beach getaway with roundtrip airfare, a four-night hotel stay and a luxury private cabana.
- Some 18,640 people have already signed.
Why it matters: Tourism officials expect an uptick in spring break visitors over the next few months as Americans' moods about travel change after a year of pandemic life.
What they're saying: "It doesn’t matter where you're coming from, you may not realize some of the things that you need to be doing to keep yourself and others safe in Pinellas County," Steve Hayes, Visit St. Pete-Clearwater's president and CEO, told Axios.
This story first appeared in the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.
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