PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 8, 2019) – The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau has embarked on a strategic planning process and the public is invited to provide input and help shape the future of Charlotte County’s tourism industry. The result will be a tourism strategic plan. This plan will provide framework for tourism development within the County and how the destination markets for at least the next five years. It is anticipated to address new accommodations, infrastructure, transportation, visitor activities, and marketing the destination.
"Traditionally, tourism consists of multiple independent industries, including accommodations, restaurants, retail shops, entertainment venues, visitor attractions, and arts and cultural organizations. A Tourism Strategic Plan weaves these industries together by developing a singular vision to improve all of them and the county infrastructure. Not only does this benefit visitors, but all of us who live in Charlotte County, too. When we become a more unified destination for visitors, more visitors mean greater economic impact for the community," said Wendie Vestfall, tourism director of the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau. 

"All strategic meetings and exercises will culminate with a final plan resulting in a roadmap for the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau to use in navigating Charlotte County into the next era of tourism."

The Washington, D.C.-based firm Streetsense will lead the strategic planning process. The agency is committed to building brands people love and places people love to be. 

Representatives from Streetsense will meet one-on-one with key tourism community stakeholders and hold various focus groups. Members of the community are invited to attend one of two focus groups. 

The first is 8:30-10:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 14 at the Visual Arts Center, at 210 Maud St., in Punta Gorda. The second focus group is 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m,. Friday, Nov. 15 at the Englewood Chamber of Commerce, 601 S. Indiana Avenue in Ave., Englewood. RSVPs are requested to ensure everyone is accommodated. RSVP by end of Wednesday, Nov. 13 by either calling the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau at 941-743-1900 or visiting Eventbrite.com and searching for “Punta Gorda Englewoood Beach” or visiting  https://bit.ly/33rEhqk

The VCB is the Tourism Department of the Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners. Charlotte County levies a 5% tourist development tax on accommodation stays 6 months or less, in addition to the 7% sales tax. The first 3% 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. 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.

During fiscal year 2017-2018 (Oct. 1, 2017 –- Sept. 30, 2018), Charlotte County welcomed an estimated 405,300 visitors and tourism generated an estimated $371 million in direct expenditures and made an estimated $566 million economic impact.

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Located on Florida’s coveted Southwest Gulf Coast, halfway between Tampa and Naples, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach is a charming collection of coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, the area offers pristine, unspoiled beauty. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach showcases a variety of vibrant experiences. From beaches to boating, hiking to harbor tours, fishing to nature discovery; to sun, shelling and fossilized sharks teeth, the destination celebrates the active traveler and lively local in search of relaxation and unlimited discovery. 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 1-800-652-6090 or engage with the destination on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @RealPureFlorida. Looking for fast, unique destination facts? Click HERE!