Charlotte County's "outsider" image is gaining attention in the "big leagues."

At a recent national "eTourism Summit," sponsored by Expedia Media Solutions in San Francisco, Charlotte's Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau accepted an "eTSY award" for excellence and best use of short videos.

With short digital videos, the county's tourism bureau promotes the county's "Outside is our Best Side" marketing theme by featuring "outsider" tourist attractions.

“It is an honor to be recognized for our continued pursuit of positioning Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach as an authentic and experiential destination,” county tourism director Wendie Vestfall stated in a press release.

"We have worked closely with key industry partners and destination advocates on this important project, and are proud to see our efforts are showcasing Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach as the ultimate outside vacation for all types of visitors,” she said.

The goal of the videos, Vestfall said, was to highlight the uniqueness of Charlotte County to visitors, as well as utilizing word play to attract "outsiders," those looking for something different, those wanting an unique Florida experience.

Featured in the short videos include:

• Paige Bakhous and her Hooked on SUP concession that promotes stand-up paddleboarding and tours along the natural shorelines of Placida.
• Mark Timchula, better known as the Beach Guy, for his beach umbrella rentals and promotion of Englewood Beach.
• Terry Covert, tour guide for historical and nature Babcock Ranch Eco Tours.
• Amanda Carr, Punta Gorda resident and 2016 Olympian, promoting Charlotte BMX bicycling.
• Director Callie Stahl representing the Peace River Wildlife Center in Punta Gorda.
• Brenda Hillberry representing King Fisher Fleet tours operating of Fishermen's Village in Punta Gorda.
"I need five of her," King Fisher Capt. Ralph Allen said of Hillberry's energy and enthusiasm.  As far as the tourism bureau's award, Allen said, "It helps. Everything helps."
Some 30 or 40 years ago, Allen recalled his father telling him, "Promoting your business is like fishing. The more lines you have out, the more bites you are going to get."

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