PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD BEACH, Fla. (April 11, 2018) – Community and tourism champion Mark O. Asperilla, M.D., has been selected as the 2018 Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame inductee and will be inducted during the annual tourism luncheon on Thursday, May 10 at 11 a.m. at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center. The Hall of Fame was established in 2014 to honor those who have had a substantial and long-standing body of work that has positively impacted tourism in Charlotte County.   

Over the decades, Dr. Asperilla has improved the lives of many through his internal medicine practice. He has also raised the visibility of Charlotte County as a tourism destination through his creation and support of numerous events and endeavors. In 2008, he opened the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Port Charlotte, Charlotte County’s first hotel after 2004’s Hurricane Charley. The property implemented dozens of “eco-friendly” amenities including interior energy saving technology, biodegradable laundry detergents, and xeriscaping. 

In 2013, Dr. Asperilla purchased the Fishery Restaurant in Placida from the Albritton family who owned it for more than 25 years. Under his ownership, outdoor dining and entertainment were added to the waterfront restaurant and continues to serve a slice of Old Florida. 

Charlotte County is known in the amateur boxing community because of Dr. Asperilla’s efforts. He was instrumental in the recruiting and/or contributing to high-profile boxing events to Charlotte County which have resulted in thousands of rooms nights and millions of dollars in direct expenditures. These events include several Golden Gloves State and National Championships, as well as 2016 Sugar Bert Boxing National Qualifier and 2011 Women’s Golden Gloves National Championship. He has also sponsored the Charlotte Harbor Regatta which formed in 2009. Sugar Bert Boxing will return to Charlotte County on June 2 and 3, 2018.  

Tickets are now available for Charlotte County’s 2018 Tourism Luncheon and Tourism Hall of Fame Award hosted by the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau. The event will take place May 10 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center located at 75 Taylor St, Punta Gorda, Fla. 33950. The luncheon will have a cultural theme and will celebrate how cultural heritage enriches the travel experience. Keynote speaker is filmmaker Kevin Willmott.

Cost to attend the May 10 lunch is $20 per person. Those interested in attending the luncheon can do so by registering online at 2018luncheon.eventbrite.com or by calling (941) 743-1900 no later than May 7, 2018. All tickets are general admission and there is no assigned seating. 

Annually, the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach 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 Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau is also focused on developing soft adventure or ecotourism, 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 2016, Charlotte County welcomed an estimated 406,700 visitors, tourism generated an estimated $362,227,100 in direct expenditures, and made an estimated $552 million economic impact.

Image of 2018 Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame inductee, Mark O. Asperilla, M.D. https://www.dropbox.com/s/etklwz7nczgmbv5/asperilla_mark_mug_C%20%282%29.jpg?dl=0 

Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast, Punta Gorda /Englewood Beach is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, the area offers a pristine unspoiled beauty. In 2014, Port Charlotte was named the top “U.S. Best Value Destination” by Trivago (the world’s largest online hotel search site), and the Charlotte Sports Park, spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays, was voted “Best Spring Training Facility” by readers of USA TODAY. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Punta Gorda / Englewood Beach has been named one of SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” Englewood was named second of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com. The area is served by five airports: The Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) with private and charter air service, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers, (RSW), St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and Tampa International Airport (TPA). For more information on visiting Punta Gorda / Englewood Beach visit http://PureFlorida.com or call1-800-652-6090.