Charlotte Bids for Bigger Slice of Tourism Pie


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, March 15th, 2016 – Charlotte County is stepping up its tourism marketing efforts to match strides with the more aggressive drive of its neighbors Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples whose housing markets are also riding on their revved-up campaigns to attract tourists.

There’s a strong foundation for Charlotte’s campaign, as the number of travelers landing on its Punta Gorda Airport is on the rise. January 2016, for instance, the Charlotte County Airport Authority reported that arrivals in the terminal rose 29 percent to 76,538 passengers. The lone carrier for the airport, the discounter Allegiant, even added a Punta Gorda/Fort Myers flight to its schedule starting this February.

Award-winning PR Hired

Charlotte Bids for Bigger Slice of Tourism Pie

Despite such strong tailwinds, however, Charlotte’s tourism revenues aren’t picking up as fast as its neighbors like Sarasota where returns from the travel industry are hitting peak levels and helping propel record home sales in the process. What’s obviously happening is that tourists (and potential home buyers) often bypass Charlotte, flanked as it is by counties which have stepped up their tourism marketing campaigns.

To help make the county more competitive tourism-wise, the Charlotte Harbor Visitor and Convention Bureau recently hired Aqua Marketing and Communications, an award-winning outfit based in St. Petersburg. The bureau tasked Aqua with developing and implementing strategic marketing and public relations programs to increase recall of Charlotte County amongst U.S. and international tourists.

Eco-tourism Thrust

The bureau’s choice for its PR agency can be expected to deliver positive results considering Aqua’s brilliant track record. This marketing firm reaffirmed its reputation as Florida’s best destination marketing firm with the four top awards it received in the 2015 Governor’s Conference in Tampa. Earlier, the firm also received two international awards from Hospitality Sales & Marketing International which fetes the best worldwide promotions campaigns for the tourism, hospitality and travel industries.

Aqua’s marching order from the Charlotte bureau is for it to launch programs that would reinforce the county’s brand franchise as a year-round, premier eco-tourism travel destination.

The Aqua president, Dave Di Maggio, concurs that Charlotte indeed could achieve much by showcasing its natural surroundings and that opportunities on eco-tourism haven’t been fully explored yet. He notes that the county has some relatively lesser known nature preserves and beaches that could be promoted as destinations for tourists seeking outdoor adventure or off-the-beaten path destinations.

Jewels of Deep Creek

Conceivably, the hidden gems of Charlotte’s housing market would likewise get a robust lift from the brand-building process of the county. Such secret jewels are many and could be discovered in the homes for sale in Deep Creek, a deed-restricted community.

Located north of the Peace River, Deep Creek homes for sale are noted for their lakeside setting. The community’s elevation, one of the highest (thus no flood insurance needed) in the county, is also a magnet for potential home buyers. The homes here range from 30-year-old residences to new builds with choices varying from single family homes to condo townhouses.

The condos for sale at Deep Creek feature floor plans ranging from about 1,000 to 1,250 square feet designed with two to three bedrooms and typically offered at price points in the $100s. As equally attractive are the community’s single family homes which can be sales-listed among Sarasota homes for sale in the $200s, featuring three to four bedrooms within floor plans of approximately 2,000 square feet.

Notably, Deep Creek’s Peace River location is a potential eco-tour destination too for Charlotte to promote, as it is already popular amongst fossil hunters. Already, several campgrounds and canoe rentals operate along this river which could help Charlotte gain a bigger slice of Florida’s tourism pie.