PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD BEACH, FLA. (Oct. 11, 2016) – At the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA) 52nd Annual Conference held in Lakeland, Fla., Oct. 5 – 8, The Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast Visitor & Convention Bureau received first place in the Industry Public Relations Program category in the Excellence in Craft competition. The honor recognized the VCB’s 60-second “Experience Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands: 2016” video which highlights the destination’s nature-based activities. 

Last month, the Florida Outdoor Writers Association awarded the same video with the First Place Excellence in Craft Award in the Corporate/Tourism Promotion category. The video was edited, produced and published in 2015 by Chip Futch, the Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast VCB Director of Marketing, and was utilized in the VCB’s 2016 marketing program to lure visitors into the Southwest Florida community of Charlotte County. It has been viewed more than 2.4 million times through campaigns. The video contains segments filmed by various videographers who are Anton Fresco, David Sussman of DW Sussman Photography, Russ Weston, Alex Carabes, and Sean and Brooks Paxton of Shot Locker Productions

Each year, The Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast 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 Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast Visitor & Convention Bureau is also focused on developing ecotourism and soft adventure travel. These popular low-impact industries enable the county to preserve the invaluable natural resources that contribute to its ecological and economic health, while distinguishing the area and drawing visitors. During calendar year 2015, Charlotte County welcomed an estimated 395,800 visitors and tourism generated an estimated $345,067,400 in direct expenditures and made an estimated $526 million economic impact in Charlotte County.

The video, which has been updated with the VCB’s new brand, can be viewed on the Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast YouTube channel at youtube.com/chgiflorida.  

Screen captures of the video are available on DropBox at:

About the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association  
The Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA) is a nonprofit professional organization serving a membership spanning fourteen southeastern states. Members include magazine and newspaper writers, book authors, photographers, radio and television personalities, lecturers, editors, artists, industry representatives and others in the outdoor communications field.

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 (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 Punta Gorda / Englewood Beach visit http://PureFlorida.com or call1-800-652-6090.
Jennifer Huber                                                    
Tourism Public Relations Manager                                                          
Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast Visitor & Convention Bureau                  
(941) 743-1900                                                               

Michelle Tomao
Aqua Marketing & Communications, Inc. on Behalf of the Charlotte Harbor VCB
(727) 452-4899