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Tourism Strategic Planning Session Scheduled
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Tourism Strategic Planning Session Scheduled

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (Nov. 8, 2019) – The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau has embarked on a strategic planning process and the public is invited to provide input and help shape the future of Charlotte County's tourism industry. The result will be a Tourism Strategic Plan. This plan will provide framework for tourism development within the County and how the destination markets for at least the next five years. It is anticipated to address new accommodations, infrastructure, transportation, visitor activities, and marketing the destination.

"Traditionally, tourism consists of multiple independent industries, including accommodations, restaurants, retail shops, entertainment venues, visitor attractions, and arts and cultural organizations. A Tourism Strategic Plan weaves these industries together by developing a singular vision to improve all of them and the county infrastructure. Not only does this benefit visitors, but all of us who live in Charlotte County, too. When we become a more unified destination for visitors, more visitors mean greater economic impact for the community," said Wendie Vestfall, tourism director of the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau. "All strategic meetings and exercises will culminate with a final plan resulting in a roadmap for the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau to navigate Charlotte County into the next era of tourism."

The Washington, D.C.-based firm Streetsense will lead the strategic planning process. The agency is committed to building brands people love and places people love to be.

Representatives from Streetsense will meet one-on-one with key tourism community stakeholders and hold focus groups. Members of the community are invited to attend.

The first is 8:30-10:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Visual Arts Center, 210 Maud St., Punta Gorda. The second focus group is 8:30-10:30 a.m., Friday, Nov. 15, at the Englewood Chamber of Commerce, 601 S. Indiana Ave., Englewood.

RSVPs are requested to ensure everyone is accommodated. RSVP by end of Wednesday, Nov. 13 by either calling the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau at 941-743-1900 or visiting Eventbrite.com and searching for "Punta Gorda/Englewoood Beach" or visiting https://bit.ly/33rEhqk.

The VCB is the Charlotte County tourism department. Charlotte County levies a 5% tourist development tax on accommodation stays 6 months or less, in addition to the 7% sales tax. The first 3% is spent for tourism promotion and marketing support and the fourth and fifth percent are used to fund the Charlotte Sports Park renovation debt service.

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. Learn more about Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach by visiting PureFlorida.com.

During fiscal year 2017-2018 (Oct. 1, 2017-Sept. 30, 2018), Charlotte County welcomed an estimated 405,300 visitors and tourism generated an estimated $371 million in direct expenditures and made an estimated $566 million economic impact.



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