Charlotte County’s Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau wants to boost restaurants, hotels and other tourism-related businesses that were hard hit in 2018 by the intense toxic red tide blooms.

The algae persistently clung to the coasts of Sarasota, Charlotte and other southwest Florida counties throughout the spring and summer, spoiling revenue for many businesses near the water, and some that were even a few miles away.

Charlotte tourist officials will host a “Google Red Tide Edition Workshop” from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Waverly restaurant, 2095 N. Beach Road, on Manasota Key in Englewood. It’s co-sponsored by Visit Florida and the Miles Marketing Destinations.

The workshop is free to Sarasota and Charlotte business owners. Participants need to register in advance at or call 941-743-1900 for more information. Only two individuals per business may attend.

The goal is to help business owners to improve their Google presence and promotion on the web, as well as overcoming “the bad press” from the outbreak of red tide in the Gulf, said Jennifer Huber, Charlotte tourism public relations manager.

The workshop will offer “tactical training and how-to guide takeaways,” according to organizers.

Topics include:

• Claiming and managing your account.

• Obtaining and responding to reviews and questions about red tide.

• Adding new photography.

• Adding 360 images and video.

• Removing poor photos from your listing.

• Understanding Local Guides.

• Leveraging.

• Questions and answers to share current conditions.

Business owners are encouraged to bring their laptops, tablets or other electronic devices capable of connecting with their existing Google sites.


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