Capt. Ralph and Emily EllynCongratulations to Capt. Ralph Allen, owner of King Fisher Fleet in Punta Gorda, Fla., who was inducted into the Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame on May 12 during the annual Charlotte County Tourism Luncheon at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center.

More than 100 members of the Charlotte County tourism and business community gathered to celebrate culinary tourism. Prior to a delicious lunch prepared by SAVOR, local restaurants Farlow’s On The Water, Hurricane Charley’s Raw Bar & Grill, Peace River Seafood, Rum Bay Restaurant and Village Fish Market, served up offered delectable samples from their menus.

Emily Ellyn, Food Network’s Retro Rad Chef, gave the keynote address about the seven key ingredients that make a great foodie community and radio personality Chris Kelly served as emcee.

Each year, the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau conducts marketing, sales and promotional campaigns to increase awareness of and visitation to Charlotte County.

In addition to generating economic contributions, the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau is also focused on developing soft adventure or eco-tourism, a low-impact industry enabling the county to preserve the invaluable natural resources that contribute to its ecological health, distinguish the area and draw visitors.

During calendar year 2015, Charlotte County welcomed an estimated 395,800 visitors and tourism generated an estimated $345,067,400 in direct expenditures and made an estimated $526 million economic impact in Charlotte County.

Photos from the event have been uploaded and can be viewed on Facebookfeel free to tag yourself!”

Thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate the power of tourism in Charlotte County.