The Visit Florida Board of Directors has elected Sanibel & Captiva Chamber of Commerce Executive Director John Lai to its executive board as second vice chair. The board of directors is Visit Florida’s private sector governing body that provides guidance, input, and insight into the evolution of its marketing programs.
The board includes representatives from different sectors of the tourism industry and is balanced geographically throughout the state.
“We are thrilled to have John Lai serve as second vice chair of Visit Florida’s board of directors for fiscal year 2022-2023,” said Dana Young, Visit Florida president and CEO. “The Sanibel and Captiva area is invaluable to Florida’s tourism industry, and John’s knowledge and expertise have been an asset to Visit Florida throughout his tenure. We greatly appreciate his service to our organization and are looking forward to working with him in his new role.”
The first Sanibel-Captiva chamber president ever to serve on Visit Florida’s board, Lai was appointed in July 2021 for a term that runs through June 30, 2025. He has served at helm of the Sanibel and Captiva chamber since September 2017. Prior to that, he served as membership director for eight months.
“I am honored at such an auspicious appointment at the state tourism level, and look forward to representing Sanibel and Captiva interests in promoting the local travel industry,” said Lai. “The chamber has always enjoyed a close, symbiotic relationship with Visit Florida, and this just takes that one step further.”
Lai has worked in the leisure, travel, and tourism industry for more than 15 years, many of them at island resorts. He served in management positions for The Inns of Sanibel and Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts, overseeing all facets of operation.
Lai currently sits on the board of directors for Lee County Sports, serves as chair elect of the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals, and is past president of the Lee County Hotel Association and the Fort Myers Conference and Convention Council.