There was a great deal of public discussion last week regarding our community’s increased participation with the Charlotte County Tourism Development Council.
Specifically, Keith Farlow, owner of Farlow’s on the Water restaurant, was selected by the Board of County Commissioners of Charlotte County to fill a vacant seat on the council.
What made this action particularly newsworthy was the County Commission actually rejected the Tourist Development Council’s own recommendation in order to select Farlow to fill this spot. If the commissioners had followed the council’s recommendation, the result would have been six of the nine seats on the council would have been occupied by business entities outside of the Englewood area.
Why was this done and why is this important to our community? Let’s first take a look at the Role and Responsibility of the Charlotte County Tourist Development Council, which:
• Defines the purpose and establishes its governing principles of the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor and Convention Bureau.
• Provides advice and consent with regard to policy and goals.
• Provides direction and oversight for the Visitor and Convention Bureau’s operations.
• Represents the Visitor and Convention Bureau’s interests to external audiences.
• Serves as an advocate for tourism and destination issues.
With the lifeblood of the Englewood economy being the tourism industry, it is vital that the Tourist Development Council have a comprehensive understanding of the issues that are unique to our area. For example, if the council is not intimately aware of the tourism assets of Englewood, how can they effectively be a tourism advocate of our community?
The Englewood Chamber of Commerce is appreciative to the Charlotte County Commission and to Keith Farlow for being willing to serve on the Tourist Development Council.
We at the Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce are in regular contact with the Florida Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control, Visit Florida, Visit Sarasota County, the office of Gov. Ron DeSantis and local healthcare professionals. Chamber business will be conducted as normal unless we are advised by the trusted authorities to modify our operations. We will promptly post any changes to our calendar to www.EnglewoodChamber.com and to our followers on Facebook and Instagram.
Ed Hill is executive director of the Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-474-5511.