CHARLOTTE HARBOR & THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. (March 11, 2015) – The Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau is pleased to announce Tourist Development Tax Revenues collected during January 2015 totaled $418,782. This is up 27.1 percent compared to January 2014 which collected $329,503. To date, Fiscal Year collections (Oct. 2014 – Jan. 15) total $575,071 which is up 21.8 percent over the previous year.

“Tourism growth continues at a very strong pace. The harsh winter in the Midwest and Northeast has been a blessing to Florida Tourism,” said Ms. Lorah Steiner, Director of the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, “People came earlier this year and as the snow kept falling up north, visitors stayed longer. What’s encouraging is when the snow melts it appears Charlotte County will still be benefitting from a robust economy. Several area accommodations have told us they are seeing an increase in reservations for the summer season. “

“At Palm Island Resort, we started to see a significant swing upwards in regard to visitation last summer,” said Mr. Rick Brunette, Vice President & General Manager of Palm Island Resort, “For the past 8 months, the trends continue to be strong with greater demand in both the number of stays as well as in the length of a stay. All tracking and statistical indicators reflect a continuation of this trend through the summer and we are confident in the predictions that 2016 will realize a sustained growth in tourism.”
 

Mr. Brunette added, “All of us who benefit from this increase in business should be very proud of the interest that Charlotte County has captured in the eyes of our visiting guests and by trending above other regional and state destinations. In speaking to local colleagues within the hospitality profession, we are all focusing our attention on serving our guests with a level of detail that will capture their interest in returning to Charlotte County often.”

Charlotte County levies a 5 percent Tourist Development Tax (TDT) 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 for the bond for the recent renovations at the Charlotte Sports Park.

About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands 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 has been 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, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands 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 (PDG) 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 Charlotte Harbor visit www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com or call1-800-652-6090.
 

CONTACTS: 

Jennifer Huber                
Tourism Public Relations Manager                         
Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau      
(941) 743-1900                                                   
Jennifer.Huber@CharlotteFL.com


Mary Jane Kolassa / Cindy Dobyns
Above Water Public Relations & Marketing
(407) 463-0040 / (239) 596-9149
MJKolassa@AboveWater.com  / CDobyns@AboveWater.com


Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau
18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B104
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
941-743-1900, FAX: 941-764-4932
www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com