Despite the hardships that 2020 has brought on to Southwest Florida, there is a sense of optimism from the Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau, that tourism will begin to return. With new routes soon available at Southwest Florida International (RSW) airport, updates to one of its major resorts and a brand-new sports facility, the destination has shown that it is ready to rebound from the challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, businesses across the destination have banded together to take the Paradise Pledge, showing locals and visitors alike that they can count on high standards of health and safety when they are in the destination.
“The last several months have been tough for everyone, but it gives us great optimism for the destination and its tourism industry that these positive developments have taken place,” said Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB Executive Director Jack Wert. “Our partners have stuck with us and this good news shows that tourism is ready to rebound in a big way much sooner than anybody had thought. We look forward to welcoming travelers once again to beautiful Southwest Florida.”
New World-Class Sports Complex:
The Paradise Coast Sports Complex entered the first phase of its opening when it hosted its first tournament, FBU’s Top Gun Showcase, in July. When fully open, the complex will feature 19 full-size artificial turf fields and a 3,500-seat stadium, making Southwest Florida the home of one of the greatest sports facilities in the country. The entirety of the project will be open in late 2021. As an established destination for youth sports, the new complex will enhance Collier County’s appeal as a year-round tournament and event destination.
New Air Service into RSW:
Alaska Airlines has announced new direct service from Los Angeles (LAX) and Seattle (SEA) starting in the late fall into RSW, opening up the U.S. West Coast to travelers interested in visiting Florida’s Paradise Coast. And United has also announced new flights to RSW in late fall. With this new service and resuming service to many locations, RSW will offer nonstop service to 35 destination across nine carriers by this fall.
Updates to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples:
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples announced it will undergo a remastering of the resort including the addition of a new swimming pool, an immersive water activity experience, a new outdoor restaurant and bar and event lawn. The new dining experience will be complete by the end of November 2020 with the new pools and water experiences expected to be complete in May 2021. The enhancements will elevate the extensive amenities already available at one of Southwest Florida’s premiere luxury resort, known for its pristine beaches, championship golf, relaxing spa and innovative children’s programming.
Paradise Pledge Success:
The CVB launched the Paradise Pledge in July 2020, encouraging business owners and locals to pledge to follow the CDC and Florida Department of Health Guidelines as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses that complete this voluntary pledge signify that they will follow, meet and exceed CDC and Florida Department of Health Safety Guidelines and protocols. As of September 1, 74 local businesses have signed up for the pledge.