CHARLOTTE HARBOR & THE GULF ISLANDS (April 22, 2015) – Charlotte County’s beautiful beaches, ecotourism attractions and delicious dining took center stage the week of April 12 when the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau partnered with Brand USA to film five in-language videos to attract visitors from Germany, Brazil and Spanish speaking countries such as Mexico and Argentina. 

The videos feature hosts Ms. Vange Tapia, a native of Mexico City, Mexico; Ms. Luiza Florence, originally from São João da Boa Vista, Brazil; and Mr. Heiko Obermoeller, a native of Cologne, Germany. During the four-day film shoot, hosts explored the destination by bicycle, foot, kayak, motorboat, motorized buggy, and standup paddle board. The crew filmed in 16 different locations throughout Charlotte County and scenes include walking along Manasota’s natural beaches, pedaling Punta Gorda’s Pathways, riding the hills of Florida Tracks & Trails and gliding over the playful waters of Gasparilla Sound.  

The videos will be part of the Charlotte Harbor VCB’s marketing efforts to attract international visitors, specifically from Argentina, Brazil, Germany and Mexico. Travelers from these markets traditionally visit Florida during the spring, summer and fall season. 

In addition to being posted to Brand USA’s sites of and, the videos will be posted to Discover America’s YouTube channel and used by Brand USA’s in-country representatives to reach each country’s travel trade industry through roadshows, trade shows and training seminars. The video will also be posted to the Charlotte Harbor VCB’s website,, and shared on their social media channels.   

“The wonderful thing about partnering with Brand USA on this project is the value they bring to the table,” said Ms. Lorah Steiner, Director of the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, “Each video costs us $6,000 and potential visitors will use the website to plan their vacations to the U.S. Having a presence on the site gives Charlotte County an opportunity to reach target markets we otherwise couldn’t reach.”

The project relied on the assistance from various Charlotte County tourism businesses as the Babcock Wilderness Adventures, Cape Haze Marina, Captain’s Table, Charlotte County Community Services, Don Pedro Island State Park, Farlow’s on the Water, Fat Point Brewing, Fishermen’s Village, the Fishery Restaurant, Florida Tracks & Trails, Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside, Hooked on SUP, Ice House Pub, Phoenix Rising Kayak Tours, Stump Pass Beach State Park and Turtle Club Tavern. The first video is expected to be ready to view this summer.  

Each year, the Charlotte Harbor 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 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.

About Brand USA
Established by the Travel Promotion Act, Brand USA is the nation’s first international marketing effort to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and communicate U.S. entry/exit policies and procedures. Brand USA began operations in May 2011 and was recently reauthorized by Congress through 2020. No U.S. tax dollars are used to fund Brand USA. Operational dollars are calculated through matching one dollar of cash or in-kind contributions from industry and media partners to “unlock” one dollar from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which collects fees from international inbound travelers arriving from visa-waiver markets. 

Brand USA has generated nearly $1 billion in federal, state and local taxes. And for every 33 overseas travelers who visit the U.S., one new job is created. 

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 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 or call1-800-652-6090.

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

Mary Jane Kolassa / Cindy Dobyns
Above Water Public Relations & Marketing
(407) 463-0040 / (239) 596-9149  /

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