Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO — Fort Myers and Sanibel are an ideal add-on to the already popular Florida destinations of Miami and Orlando, says Stefanie Zinke, International Tourism Sales Manager Sr. at The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel VCB.
Speaking at The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel’s ‘Islandology’ event, held yesterday at Toronto’s Radisson Admiral Hotel to highlight the great attractions, tastes and experiences in west coast of Florida, Zinke said: “We are not competing with the east coast. We are adding on, to enrich the experience of Florida and add more to the destination.”
Despite a small decrease in arrivals to the area recently, attributed to exchange rate fluctuations, Canada remains the destination’s most important source market outside of the U.S., said Zinke.
Zinke touched on the memorable experiences Fort Myers and Sanibel offers in destination: “We want it to be more about the experience.”
Yesterday’s event welcomed attendees to explore the diversity and personality of Fort Myers, Captiva Island and Cape Coral. Highlights included:
FORT MYERS BEACH
Fort Myers gives travellers plenty of options to enjoy their stay with dozens of public access areas, sights and activities. The Historic Beach Trolley runs all the way from the North to the South end and for US$0.75 per adult, travellers can explore the narrow 11-kilometre island filled with many quaint restaurants and bars.
Set to open in summer 2020 is The Luminary, a 243-room hotel in downtown Fort Myers, also known as the River District. It is part of the Marriott Autograph Collection and makes reference to Thomas Edison’s invention of the lightbulb, which took place in Fort Myers. Downtown Fort Myers features high-end outlets, antiques, a historic and cultural centre, as well as plenty of arts, theatre and events for families to enjoy all year round.
For the first time in 30 years, the Hobie Cat World’s championship will be held on Captiva island from Nov. 1 – 16. With over 1000 people, 60 boats, and 30 teams, this sailing event welcomes fun and camaraderie. The event will be hosted at the South Seas Island Hotel on the north end of the island with a marina perfect for manatee spotting.
Captiva Island is a preservation area that allows visitors and residents to appreciate its nature and beauty. Activities that involve wildlife and nature on Captiva Island include the J.N. ‘Ding’ National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Sea School and Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW).
Cape Coral, a destination that has sunshine virtually all year round, is a hidden gem of South Florida, just 20 minutes from Fort Myers and 14 minutes from Sanibel Island. With more waterways than Venice, and surrounded by water, Cape Coral offers many opportunities for visitors and vacationers to shop, eat, and explore, all while transported by boat.
The only four-star resort in Cape Coral, The Westin Cape Coral, features one-, two, and three-bedroom suites with full apartment style units. Surrounded by the preserve and located on the marina, visitors can rent paddleboards, kayaks, or boats to take a day trip around the area. For those interested in a day at the beach, The Westin provides a daily water taxi that will take you to and from the area.
For more details see fortmyers-sanibel.com/.