Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce team, Mitch Orr, left, Ashley Gibbons, Cory Mills, Board Chair Aaron Pruss and President John Lai unveil the 2019 Visitor’s Guide cover featuring a photograph by Rob Hoovus, third from right, and Barb Harrington with Vector & Ink.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce team, Mitch Orr, left, Ashley Gibbons, Cory Mills, Board Chair Aaron Pruss and President John Lai unveil the 2019 Visitor’s Guide cover featuring a photograph by Rob Hoovus, third from right, and Barb Harrington with Vector & Ink.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce held its monthly business luncheon Oct. 9 at the Captiva Island Yacht Club and hosted Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau Executive Director Tamara Pigott as guest speaker.

Pigott directs the VCB staff to effectively market the county, leverages tourist tax fund expenditures and resources, and evaluates and develops all market segments. She opened her presentation with the results of the 2018 Island Hopper Songwriter Fest, which featured a convenient new mobile app and was advertised for the first time in the Tampa and Miami areas.

Pigott briefly addressed the OneLee campaign to encourage local shopping, but focused on red tide recovery plans. The VCB has received two grants to be used for advertising in the New York Times, the Southwest Florida region and through a specialized Google campaign. The water crisis action plan also includes a lineup of press conferences and paid media.

“It’s a big plan, but we are ready to go when given the green light. We just need a little cooperation from Mather Nature,” said Pigott, who reported tourist tax revenue is up by 6.8 percent for the fiscal year due to a strong fourth quarter in 2017. August revenue is reportedly down by 16.4 percent.

Chamber members were invited to attend the VCB’s annual sales and marketing meeting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Westin Cape Coral Resort, 5951 Silver King Blvd., Cape Coral. It’s in conjunction with the Tourist Development Council meeting, which begins at 9 a.m.

Vector & Ink sponsored the luncheon – highlighted by the unveiling of the 2019 Visitor’s Guide cover featuring a stunning photograph by Rob Hoovis, owner of Old Sparky Productions. Hoovis captured a paradise family vacation to be remembered for a lifetime. The Visitor’s Guide, published by Vector & Ink, will be available in late January at the Chamber Visitor’s Center. More than 120,000 copies are distributed each year.

“We are very proud of the Visitor’s Guide and congratulate Rob (Hoovis) on his winning photograph,” said Chamber President John Lai. “It will be seen by thousands of people, who will pick it up and learn about our islands.”

The next luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the Sanibel Community House with catering by Sanibel Catering Co. Community Housing and Resources Executive Director Melissa Rice will be the guest speaker. Bailey’s General Store, parent company to Sanibel Catering, will be the sponsor.