Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach, FL – The marketing and sales efforts of the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau (PGEB VCB) are paying off in dividends by receiving an approximately $1.6 million increase in the Tourist Development Tax over the fiscal year 2020, which is the best on record.
The tourist development tax is a 5 percent levy on all lodging facilities – hotels, motels, vacation homes, condos, and campgrounds. Sixty percent of the revenues collected are used to fund the Visitor’s Bureau’s operations which include all marketing, sales, and public relations efforts.
The VCB, with the assistance of their advertising and public relations agency, Aqua Marketing & Communications, Inc., was quick to resume marketing and promoting the Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast once the state began reopening to travelers in late June 2020 with their nationally targeted “Outsiders Welcome” campaign. “Our team is ecstatic with the results from this year which are a testament to what we are---a premier outdoor recreation destination offering a variety of healthy, outdoor activities and adventures. It also speaks volumes to the hard work and persistence of our local industry partners who used creativity and diligence to safely navigate the pandemic while still keeping their doors open”, stated the VCB’s Tourism Director, Sean Doherty.
In addition to the increase in tourist development taxes collected by area lodging establishments, the local hospitality industry has enjoyed, heightened visitor traffic at restaurants and attractions, as well as a dramatic increase in web traffic and the number of inquiries received at the VCB’s official website, www.PureFlorida.com. After the first of the year, the VCB also will be excited to launch a redesigned website along with a new look to the destination’s official visitor guide featuring fresh and updated content.
To cap off the fiscal year, the VCB attended the Florida Sports Foundation Annual Summit and received an award for producing the Best Small Market Event of the Year as the host destination for the Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) at the PicklePlex of Punta Gorda in January of 2021.
“We are humbled to win an award that was voted on by our peers,” said Sean Walter, Sports Business Development Director for the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau. “This award signifies the partnership we have with the APP Tour, PicklePlex of Punta Gorda, and our hospitality industry. We are fortunate that our community and visitors will continue to have the opportunity to see this high-level competition up close and in person for years to come.”
The Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) is a “tour” of prize money tournaments and is the first sanctioned USA Pickleball Tour for professionals and amateurs throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. This Punta Gorda Open Series included 700 participants, generating a $2M economic impact and over 2500 hotel room nights. Over 125 participants came from countries as far away as Afghanistan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Zimbabwe. The event generated over 1 million views on Inside World Pickleball’s live streaming broadcast with 200 hours of live-action. It reached 50 countries worldwide and social media related to the event produced over 4 million impressions. The APP has agreed to bring the event back to Punta Gorda for the next three years through 2024.
ABOUT PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD BEACH
Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach is Florida’s best-kept secret of a charming natural paradise located on the idyllic Southwest Gulf Coast. This coastal community surrounding the state’s second-largest harbor sits conveniently between Tampa and Naples. Outdoor enthusiasts will find a haven of vibrant experiences in the sun-soaked oasis of the Southwest Florida islands, characterized by almost year-round sunshine and sub-tropical weather. Relaxation and discovery await miles of waterways and inland exploration trails filled with unspoiled natural beauty. From beaches to boating, hiking to harbor tours, fishing to nature paths; to the sun, shelling and fossilized sharks’ teeth, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach immerses lively locals and active adventurers in a pure island experience. Most notably known for its 830 miles of pristine unparalleled shoreline, including captivating river passages, a mangrove-edged aquatic preserve, and more than a dozen miles of natural Gulf beaches, the Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast includes the areas of Boca Grande, Don Pedro Island, El Jobean, Englewood-Cape Haze, Little Gasparilla Island, Manasota Key, Knight Island, Placida, Babcock Ranch, Port Charlotte, and Punta Gorda
To learn more about Punta Gorda / Englewood Beach, visit http://PureFlorida.com, call 941.743.1900, or discover the destination on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @RealPureFlorida. Looking for fast, unique destination facts? Click HERE!