The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau presented to the Charlotte County Tourist Development Council earlier this month results of the 2018 summer marketing campaign. The objective was to promote the destination as a top Florida travel destination for summer travel, position the area as one of Florida's best for outdoor activities all in one place, and the during April and July, campaign encouraged travelers to "Come Play Outside" and "Make Summer Family Memories Here." Due to red tide, messaging shifted in August and September to "Make the Outdoors All Yours" and featured non-beach activities. The campaign included digital advertising, the Facebook Summer Memories Photo Contest, sharing 10 most Instagrammable places in the area, and take-over of the I-75 VISIT FLORIDA Welcome Center in June which included a selfie station where visitors held up props and were encouraged to share their photos on social media using the destination's hashtag, #BestSideOutside.
As a result, the campaign landing page was viewed by more than 71,459 potential visitors, more than 37 percent of the current website traffic was generated by Summer Campaign ads, paid digital advertising across all channels generated more than 16 million impressions, the Facebook contest had 756 entries, 28,091 webpage views, and Facebook ads targeting potential visitors in Allegiant markets generated over 69,590 impressions and 1,930 clicks. Of more than 6.3 million tracked impressions, so far, 369 people who saw those ads visited the destination, at least 4,505 flights were booked and 69 hotel bookings were tracked. These marketing efforts will continue to be tracked and it is anticipated they will increase. During Fiscal Year 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017 – Sept. 30, 2018) Charlotte County collected more than $4.1 million in Tourist Development Tax, making it the first fiscal year collections have exceeded $4 million since TDT was first collected in FY 1997.