Tampa International airport board member announces new online marketing survey as a step towards getting more direct flights to and from TIA

Internationally, TIA has direct flights to less than a handful of international destinations, a source of discontent to some people in the Tampa Bay area, who say it makes the area less competitive in competition with Orlando and Miami.

Domestically, there are direct flights to most major American cities, but not to San Francisco and Seattle.  So there is a section on the website asking Bay area residents who fly frequently out of TIA if they'd like more direct flights to those cities.

Mike Meidel, Director of Pinellas County Economic Development says:

"SRI International recently opened their new marine research facility in

downtown St. Petersburg.  SRI's headquarters is in Menlo Park, California and

they have excellent relationships with Silicon Valley venture capital firms.

A direct link between Tampa Bay and San Francisco Bay would greatly enhance

our efforts to attract additional research and development jobs and start-up

investment to our region."

The Tampa Bay Partnership is coordinating the campaign with a slew of local government and business groups, including  the Pinellas County Economic Development, Tampa Bay & Company, St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention &Visitors Bureau,, City of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership and Creative Tampa Bay, among others.

CL readers may recall our story last December (called Tampa International Airport ain't very international.  Is that a problem?)that examined the tensions on the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority and in the community about TIAs lack of virtually any direct international flights.

That tension began when relatively new board member Steve Burton challenged then airport director Louis Miller about the lack of such flights, and what Burton perceived to be a lack of interest on Miller's part to do anything about it.

Miller is now gone, and Burton's Marketing Committee, in association with the Tampa Bay Partnership and a whole host of other interested parties, have created an online marketing survey form that they hope will ultimately lead to more direct flights in and out of Tampa.

In a press release, Steve Burton says of flymetampabay.com that

"We want to know where you travel and what nonstop air service you use or need.  The survey is a good fit because air opportunities require a marketing focus combined with strategic planning, market research,

market assessment and direct to consumer marketing- all essential for success."

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