TripAdvisor Names Fort De Soto America’s Top Beach
Pristine Area Favorite Lauded as “Portrait of Tranquility”
Pete/Clearwater FL - February 28, 2008) – St. Pete/Clearwater’s
Fort De Soto Park was named America’s Top Beach today by TripAdvisor,
the world's largest online travel community.
Citing a “spectacular combination of soft white sand, calm, clear water
and a laid-back atmosphere,” the popular online travel network put the
park’s North Beach at the top of its annual best-of list, with rankings
determined by a combination of site visitor popularity and staff input.
“This is particularly flattering because it’s not just one person’s
opinion,” said DT Minich, executive director of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. “When
you have millions of travelers saying we are their favorite, it’s a powerful
statement and a tremendous honor,” he added.
This marks the second time in three years the pristine Pinellas County beach
has received top honors on an annual “best-of” list. In 2005 Dr.
Stephen P. Leatherman, a.k.a. “Dr. Beach,” named Fort De Soto the
nation’s #1 Beach, and the following year he named nearby Caladesi Island
State Park the nation’s #2 Beach, a title it was awarded again in 2007.
Of the ten beaches TripAdvisor named tops in its official press release, four
are in Florida and three are in Hawaii, with beaches in California, South Carolina
and Georgia rounding out the list. TripAdvisor’s eight branded travel sites
make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 25 million
monthly visitors, five million registered members and 10 million reviews and
opinions. The TripAdvisor Media Network is an operating company of Expedia, Inc.
“This recognition reinforces the fact that our brand identity is much more
than just a marketing slogan,” said Minich. “The St. Pete/Clearwater
area really is home to ‘America’s Award-Winning Beaches,’” he