Getting The Word Out On Tampa

Call it an idea whose time has been beckoning for a while. That is, an effective, cost-efficient way to get the word out — literally — about what to do in Tampa once you get the visitors here. As in first getting the word out to those — such as hotel desk clerks and museum receptionists — who are often asked what to do in Tampa besides visit Busch Gardens, dine at Bern’s and pivot out of here to Walt Disney World and the gulf beaches.

Thanks to Troy Manthey, chief executive of the StarShip Dining Yacht, Tampa now has the Downtown Attractions Association with an Ambassador Training Program. Its aim: getting the word out on Tampa — in Tampa. It involves taking those clerks and receptionists and others on a tour of their own town — from the Lowry Park Zoo and Florida Aquarium to the Channel District, Ybor City and, well, the StarShip. And more.

But here’s a suggestion, which worked well in Atlanta leading up to the 1996 Olympics. Get the cab drivers involved. They see visitors before clerks, receptionists, doormen and waiters do.

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