PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2019) – The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau has announced Charlotte County Tourist Development Tax revenues collected during December 2018 totaled $323,076. This reflects a 2.12 percent increase over December 2017’s collections of $316,367. Occupancy, which is a percentage based on the total number of rooms occupied, was down 10 percent for the same time frame. However, Charlotte County welcomed new accommodations in 2018 which resulted in a 14 percent increase in the hotel rooms surveyed. 

"During December, the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau supported two events which generated overnight stays in Charlotte County. The AAU Pickleball National Championships began the end of November and finished in early December while the USA BMX Florida Championship Series in Punta Gorda took place the following weekend," said Sean Doherty, Interim Tourism Director of the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau. He added, "Cooler temperatures up north typically drive visitation to Southwest Florida at this time of year. Tourist Development Tax collections for Q4 2018 were up about 4 percent compared to Q4 2017. Red tide was present through most of December yet our strategy of marketing activities away from the affected areas has seemed to work. Plus, we suspect additional lift added in November and December for Allegiant Airlines into Punta Gorda Airport helped generate overnight visitation." 

Charlotte County levies a 5 percent tourist development tax on accommodation stays 6 months or less, in addition to the 7 percent sales tax. The first 3 percent is spent for tourism promotion and marketing support and the fourth and fifth percent are used to fund the debt service on the bond for the renovations at the Charlotte Sports Park. 

During calendar year 2017, Charlotte County welcomed an estimated 422,500 visitors, tourism generated an estimated $380,841,400 in direct expenditures, and made an estimated $580,783,200 economic impact.

Annually, the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau conducts marketing, sales and promotional campaigns to increase awareness of and visitation to Charlotte County. In addition to generating economic contributions, the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau is also focused on developing soft adventure or ecotourism, a low-impact industry enabling the county to preserve the invaluable natural resources that contribute to its ecological health, distinguish the area and draw visitors. Learn more about Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach by visiting PureFlorida.com. 

Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast, Punta Gorda /Englewood Beach is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, the area offers a pristine unspoiled beauty. In 2014, Port Charlotte was named the top “U.S. Best Value Destination” by Trivago (the world’s largest online hotel search site), and the Charlotte Sports Park, spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays, was voted “Best Spring Training Facility” by readers of USA TODAY. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Punta Gorda / Englewood Beach has been named one of SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” Englewood was named second of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com. The area is served by five airports: The Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) with private and charter air service, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers, (RSW), St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and Tampa International Airport (TPA). For more information on visiting Punta Gorda / Englewood Beach visit http://PureFlorida.com or call1-800-652-6090.

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