CHARLOTTE HARBOR & THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. (October 23, 2014) – The Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau announced Tourist Development Tax revenues collected during the summer months of June, July and August 2014 totaled $525,328. This is up cumulatively 19 percent compared to the same months in 2013 which collected $441,369. Since the Bureau’s inception in 1997, this is the most TDT Revenues Charlotte County has collected in a single summer. 

“We are pleased to see our diversified marketing plan result in the strongest summer Tourist Development Tax collections in the history of Charlotte County tourism,” said Lorah Steiner, Director of the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, “Most of our summer business comes from within the state of Florida as well as cities serviced by Allegiant Air and so our targeted marketing efforts for these months included hosting travel journalists, distributing the visitor guide in Fort Myers area grocery stores, and cooperative advertising with the local tourism industry in regional publications as well as Sunseeker, Allegiant’s inflight publication.”  

Each month the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau receives hotel data through Smith Travel Research which compares Charlotte County occupancy levels, average room rate and room revenue to 11 Florida destinations. This report shows a projected 4 percent increase in occupancy in Charlotte County’s hotel sector for September 2014 over 2013. “We are anticipating a 4 to 6 percent increase in TDT Revenue collections for September for the destination,” said Steiner, “As September is typically our slowest month, that’s good news.”

“The summer market has definitely started to return this year, most especially with regard to visitors coming from the Central Florida area,” said Hazel E. Crouch, owner of Place in the Sun in Englewood.

“Traffic and activity for the 2014 summer season at Fishermen’s Village has been especially ‘brisk’,” said Kathy Burnam, Marketing/Events Manager of Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda, “Most merchants report not seeing a real slowdown until September, which proved to not be nearly as quiet of a month as we typically experience. The period between ‘season’ and ‘off season’ certainly is shrinking!”

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 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).

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