Statewide Organization Promotes Professional Code of Ecotourism Ethics in Order to Encourage an Awareness and Stewardship of Florida's Natural Heritage


CHARLOTTE HARBOR & THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. (June 17, 2014) – Kayak outfitters, boat tour companies, eco-attractions, and other operators who offer guided tours through Florida’s natural places will convene at the Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside June 27 & 28 during the Florida Society of Ethical Ecotourism’s 2014 Annual Meeting (Florida SEE).

Sean and Brooks Paxton, “The Shark Brothers” will present a keynote address on Friday, June 27 and award-winning writer and photographer Lucy Tobias will address the group on Saturday, June 28. This is the first time Florida SEE has held its annual meeting in Charlotte County.

Saturday morning, meeting attendees have the opportunity to take advantage of Punta Gorda’s good nature with one of three activities. Planned are a wading trip at Ponce de Leon Park with the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center followed by a visit to the Peace River Wildlife Center; guided bicycle tour along the new Punta Gorda Pathways with Acme Bicycle Shop; and guided kayaking trip with GAEA Guides, a Florida SEE GOLD Certified Ecotour Provider.

The host hotel, the Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside, is currently designated a Florida Green Lodging hotel. The Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary initiative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that designates and recognizes lodging facilities that make a commitment to protect and conserve the Sunshine State’s natural resources.

Incorporated in 2001, Florida SEE is a statewide organization promoting a professional code of ecotourism ethics in order to encourage an awareness and stewardship of Florida's natural and cultural heritage. One of the ways this is accomplished is through certifying ecotour providers who contribute to the environmental, social and economic sustainability of Florida and are committed to using best practices for ecological sustainability, natural area management, and quality ecotourism experiences.

Registration for Florida SEE members is $50 while the non-member registration fee is $60. Additional information about the organization, the conference and conference registration can be found at www.FloridaSEE.org.  

Note to Media: Media Interested in attending the June 27 keynote by Sean and Brooks Paxton and/or the June 28 lecture by Lucy Tobias can contact Jennifer Huber with the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau at (941) 743-1900 or jennifer.huber@charlottefl.com.

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