Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Southwest Florida is the place to retire!

Punta Gorda Featured in Where to Retire Magazine

CHARLOTTE HARBOR & THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. (Dec. 19, 2013)) – Where to Retire magazine has selected Punta Gorda, Fla. as a top retirement destination for the January/February 2014 issue, available nationwide on newsstands.

Where to Retire Managing Editor Annette Fuller said Punta Gorda possesses qualities important to today’s retirees. “Those who have always wanted a boat docked in their backyard will find Punta Gorda is their dream come true. Charlotte Harbor, one of the nation’s largest, intersects with the Peace River, creating the ideal setting for fishing and sailing. The outdoor lifestyle continues with waterfront parks, 18 miles of bike paths and weekend events. Added bonuses include free parking downtown, free boat launches and a free loaner bike program,” Fuller said.
The magazine chose Fort Myers-based freelance writer Kathryn Straach to write the article. She was introduced to the area during a group media trip, called a familiarization trip, hosted by the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau in October 2011. The trip, for which the Bureau received a grant from VISIT FLORIDA, led journalists on a four-day tour through Charlotte County. The tourism office coordinated the writer’s return in August 2012 to conduct additional research for a Where to Retire article that included Englewood.
For the January/February 2014 Punta Gorda article, the Bureau coordinated her visit in August 2013. The tourism office reached out to the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce to locate retirees interested in speaking with Ms. Straach and due to the enthusiastic response, she was not able to interview everyone. The Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau provided most photography used in the article and worked with the editorial assistant to fact-check many of the statistics mentioned.
“We are delighted Where to Retire elected to feature Punta Gorda,” said Lorah Steiner, Director of the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, “The secret about this beautiful city is out!”
She added, “The article reinforces what we know about the value in conducting media familiarization trips and the long lead time it may take before an article is published. We will continue to work with members of the tourism industry to host journalists on individual and group media trips in an effort to gain earned editorial coverage in print, broadcast and electronic formats with the goal of increasing visitors into Charlotte County.”
The mission of the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau is to brand, market and sell Charlotte County globally as Florida’s premier eco-tourism, leisure, and meeting and conference destination for the continual economic benefit of the community. Through hosting familiarization trips, journalists are acquainted with the area’s tourism amenities which often results in thousands of dollars in editorial coverage. These trips provide journalists with an opportunity to share stories about the destination with their readers.
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, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands offers a pristine unspoiled beauty that has served as the backdrop for seven major feature films as well as countless memorable vacations.  A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named to SAIL magazine’s “Ten 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.” The city of Punta Gorda was named in one of “Top 10 Places to Retire Healthy” by U.S. News & World Report. Englewood was named as number two of the top 10 emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by