Former Charlotte County Tourism Director is First Inductee into New Hall of Fame

CHARLOTTE HARBOR & THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. (May 15, 2014) – Today, Ms. Becky Bovell, former Tourism Director of the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, was inducted into the Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame during the Tourism Breakfast at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center in Punta Gorda, Fla. Established this year, the Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame was created to honor people whose body of work in support of tourism has been both exceptional and diverse.

“I truly appreciate the honor of becoming the first inductee to the Charlotte Harbor Tourism Hall of Fame, and as a sports aficionado, I understand what it means to be recognized by one’s peers and be given the opportunity to savor a lasting tribute to one’s accomplishments,” said Ms. Bovell.

Within three weeks of assuming the Tourism Director position for the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, Ms. Bovell was faced with Sept. 11, 2001, which significantly changed the face of the tourism industry. From that moment until her retirement in October 2010, she met and overcame challenges to lead and grow Charlotte County’s tourism industry. Some of those challenges include 2004’s Hurricane Charley, the Great Recession, and 2010’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

She was responsible for growing an office with one staff member to a robust, award-winning destination marketing organization. Ms. Bovell initiated bureau policies, operations and strategic marketing and program development plans which included film production, media outreach, specialized niche markets, and sports and events initiatives. She hired professional staff and developed strategic brand positioning for Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands to build destination awareness and create brand identity.

Ms. Bovell’s career included service in the U.S. Senate and the White House and she has provided leadership in the tourism arena for 25 years including 16 years as Deputy Director of Tourism for the State of Rhode Island and nine years in the Charlotte County position. A leader in Florida’s tourism industry, she served on Visit Florida’s Marketing and PR Council as well as the Marketing & Internet Committee and served as President on the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (now Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations).

The Tourism Breakfast was hosted by the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau and brought the Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands tourism community together to celebrate “Tourism in Motion.” In addition to the Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame induction, the event emphasized the importance of the sports industry in the destination. Charlotte County resident and professional football player Anthony Hargrove served as the keynote speaker and Jimmy Dean, publisher of Harbor Style magazine, served as the breakfast’s 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.

Photos available of:

Anthony Hargrove, Keynote Speaker

  • Becky Bovell Presented with the Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame Induction by Charlotte County Commissioner Dr. Chris Constance
  • Image Credit: Steve Donaldson/

About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands 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 has been 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, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands 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 The area is served by five airports: The Punta Gorda Airport (PDG) 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 Charlotte Harbor visit or call 1-800-652-6090.


Jennifer Huber
Tourism Public Relations Manager
Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau
(941) 743-1900

Mary Jane Kolassa / Cindy Dobyns
Above Water Public Relations & Marketing
(407) 463-0040 / (239) 596-9149  /

Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau
18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B104
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
941-743-1900, FAX: 941-764-4932