Thousands of reporters and delegates at the Republican National Convention left the Tampa region with a better impression than they came in with, a survey suggests.
On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Partnership announced the results of a survey of 1,200 people who attended the late-summer convention. Research firm Market Enhancement Group of San Diego surveyed 200 delegates, 400 members of the media and 600 other convention attendees about their perceptions of the Tampa region before and after the RNC.
The results delighted local tourism and economic development leaders. People's perceptions of the region improved in all 27 categories of questions. The survey ranked those perceptions on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent).
For example, people were asked whether they would recommend the region to a friend or business associate. Before the convention, the Tampa region measured a score of 3.74, or fairly poor. Post-convention, it scored a more impressive 7.63.
Convention attendees also were asked to rate Tampa's ballet, theater, arts, museums and other cultural activities. Pre-convention it scored a weak 3.67 out of 10 points. Post-convention it scored 7.01.
In general, the survey suggests people came into Tampa with a fairly good opinion of the region's business climate and cost of living. Stuart Rogel, chief executive of the Tampa Bay Partnership, said the convention introduced thousands of people to the region, which should pay dividends.
"We want people to experience what we live and experience here in Tampa Bay," he said.