PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 26, 2018) – The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau is pleased to announce Tourist Development Tax revenues collected during Fiscal Year 2017-2018 (Oct. 1, 2017 – Sept. 30, 2018) totaled $4,123,367 which is up 4.8 percent over Fiscal Year 2016-2017 ($3,935,693). Since the Bureau’s inception in 1997, this is the most TDT revenues Charlotte County has collected in one Fiscal Year. 

“Overall, we are pleased how our marketing efforts helped drive visitation. October through June exceeded last year’s TDT collections, however, there was a drop in collections July through September compared to last year which is most likely due to the red tide bloom,” said Sean Doherty, interim director of the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau. He added, “Because the bloom was affecting our coastal areas, we shifted our summer marketing strategy to emphasize activities away from the beach, such as recreational activities in brackish and freshwater and land-based activities. Two new hotels opened in Punta Gorda which also contributed to the overall increase in TDT collections.”  

In addition to the 7 percent sales tax, Charlotte County levies a 5 percent tourist development tax (TDT) on accommodation stays 6 months or less. 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 recent 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. Visit AdventureAndWildlife.com to view the destination’s outdoor adventure series called Adventure and Wildlife Hosted by the Shark Brothers. 

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 million economic impact.

ABOUT PUNTA GORDA / ENGLEWOOD BEACH
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.