How to Take Full Advantage of VCB Programs

To preserve our area’s tourism business as the backbone of our economy, we must do two things in the travel industry. First, we have to be more customer-centric than ever before to win our share of visitors. And second, we have to work together at new levels - breaking down silos and strengthening our collaborative efforts across the destination to achieve maximum efficiencies.

We at the VCB like to use the term "Each one Reach one." This means that by delivering superior customer service throughout your organization every day, you help drive visitor satisfaction and repeat visitation one visitor at a time. To support you in doing so, the VCB offers our Guests First Customer Service Training Program for frontline, support and management employees. Guests First provides training workshops complimentary to hospitality and allied industries.

And there are other ways you can contribute to tourism development, including:

  • Find ways to collaborate to foster increased tourism, including packaging tourism product offerings with other area businesses and special event organizers.
  • Help educate elected officials and opinion leaders on the importance of tourism to our economy and quality of life.
  • Protect, support and promote the infrastructure that sustains tourism, especially our precious beaches.
  • Initiate green-friendly practices in your professional and personal life to help sustain our tourism offerings.


Whenever possible, piggyback on the VCB’s efforts.

You can do so by simply calling our destination The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel - the name we are using to brand our destination among visitors – in all of your marketing materials.

Participate in future Team Tourism programs.
To view a schedule of upcoming programs and register for them, click here. To suggest a topic for a future program, email VCB Executive Director Tamara Pigott at TPigott@leegov.com.

Respond to VCB e-mails that ask for a variety of information or alert you to a special promotion.
Make sure that we have your contact information in the VCB database so you are included in our outbound e-mail distribution list. Contact Erin Junkin (ejunkin@leegov.com) or Amanda Auer (aauer@leegov.com) at 239.338.3500 to add your name or business.

Participate in promotions with the VCB.
To receive information on VCB promotional opportunities, contact Katie Meckley at kmeckley@leegov.com or call the VCB at 239.338.3500.

Use our content management system to showcase your business and ensure your information is up-to-date.
The VCB provides a content management system that allows partners to ensure their information on FortMyers-Sanibel.com, and in printed materials, is accurate. Listings vary by product, and can include descriptions, amenities, photos, videos and links. Partners can update and upload information by clicking on the “Industry Partner Login” link located on the bottom of FortMyers-Sanibel.com. You will need a username and password to input your information, and all listing content will be approved by the VCB before it goes live on the website. If you do not know your password, you can either contact Justin Friede with MMGY Global at jfriede@mmgyglobal.com or by calling 239-226-0095, or click on “Register” or “Forgot Your Password” on the Industry Partner Login page.

Participate in the Booking Engine on FortMyers-Sanibel.com.
Coordinate with VCB staff and Advanced Reservations Systems (ARES) to have your business included on the booking engine located on FortMyers-Sanibel.com. For accommodations and attractions partners, contact Nancy MacPhee at 239.338.3500 or NMacphee@leegov.com.

Participate fully in the co-op advertising program, track results and provide feedback.

Attend the annual Team Tourism Summit held each October where you will receive information about cooperative advertising programs available to participate in. Cooperative advertising is offered during a limited time frame following the annual summit. For more information contact Laura Chmielewski at 239.338.3500 or lchmielewski@leegov.com.

Provide us with quality photos of your property.
Send hi-res photos in JPEG or TIFF format to Katie Meckley at KMeckley@leegov.com. If you have any questions/concerns regarding the process, contact her at 239.338.3500.

Regularly update your consumer-oriented Special Offers and Packages and your meetings-oriented Hot Dates and Rates that appear on FortMyers-Sanibel.com.
Consumer Special Offers and Packages can be uploaded by logging in to your listing on FortMyers-Sanibel.com, the same site that you update your information for the website and travel guide. If you have additional questions, please contact Justin Friede at MMGY Global at jfriede@mmgyglobal.com or 239-226-0095. You also can upload your meetings-oriented Hot Rates and Dates for meeting planners the same way. If you have questions please feel free to contact Pamela Johnson at 239.338.3500 or PJohnson@leegov.com.

Provide us with news about your business or property.

We can help spread the word about renovations, new projects, packages and special events. Please send all announcements to Nancy Hamilton at 239.338.3500 or NHamilton@leegov.com.

Keep the VCB updated on any personnel changes or other key changes new to the destination.

If you are a current partner and have updates in personnel or other key changes please contact Erin Junkin (ejunkin@leegov.com or Amanda Auer (aauer@leegov.com)or phone us at 239.338.3500.

Participate in domestic and international media and travel trade familiarization (FAM) trips.
To find out how you can be more involved with travel trade FAM trips, contact Pamela Johnson at 239.338.3500 or PJohnson@leegov.com. For media FAM trips, contact Nancy Hamilton at 239.338.3500 or NHamilton@leegov.com.

Attend monthly industry marketing meetings.
Marketing meetings are typically held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at the VCB 1st floor conference room at 3 p.m. However, dates will vary, and we do not meet in some months due to other VCB events. Please make sure we have your complete contact information in our database so that we can alert you of upcoming meetings. Contact Laura Chmielewski at 239.338-3500 or lchmielewski@leegov.com with any questions.

Supply the VCB with your collateral.
Please deliver all collateral to the VCB office. We request that you deliver no more than 50 brochures at a time for domestic and international distribution. If you have questions contact Jovina Huber at 239.338-3500 or JHuber@leegov.com.

Use VCB collateral provided to industry partners.
The VCB offers a variety of brochures, maps and postcards that industry partners may utilize for selling initiatives, including destination rack brochures; the “Green Visitor Guide” that provides destination information only; and an area map that can be sent to travel agents for their clients, and to meeting planners for their delegates and outbound initiatives. We also carry a variety of postcards that may be used in-room or as a promotional item. Collateral may be ordered in bulk quantity. Please contact Jovina Huber at 239.338.3500 or JHuber@leegov.com.

Participate in booth-share opportunities at domestic and international consumer and travel trade shows.
The travel schedule will be presented at the annual Team Tourism Summit or you may contact Pamela Johnson at 239.338-3500 or PJohnson@leegov.com if you would like to participate in booth-share opportunities.

Enlist employees in the Guests First customer service training program.
Guests First classes are held throughout the year. For more information about the program, contact Christine Davlin at 239.338.3500 or CDavlin@leegov.com.

Participate in the Annual Elaine McLaughlin Outstanding Hospitality Awards to reward and recognize tourism employees for the exemplary customer service they provide to visitors to The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel.
To learn more about the E-Awards or obtain nomination forms, please contact Simone Behr at 239.590.4855 or SBehr@leegov.com.

Keep the VCB informed of special guests arriving at RSW for meetings or conferences.
To inform us of important arrivals at RSW, please contact Pam Brown at 239.338.3500 or PBrown@leegov.com.

Utilize VCB Conference Services.
Our Conference Services support is available for meeting conference registration, welcome bag assembly and other special assistance. If you desire assistance in preparing or staffing for an event contact Pam Brown at 239.338.3500 or PBrown@leegov.com.

Use the Visitor Services Department and information on FortMyers-Sanibel.com as a resource to assist your guests with disabilities who require special assistance.
If you have questions about disabled access in our area, go to the Travel Resources section of the FortMyers-Sanibel.com website or contact Visitor Services at 239.590.4855 or contact Judi Durant at JDurant@leegov.com.

Use LeeVCB.com as a source for industry information.
LeeVCB.com provides detailed information on the VCB, special events, statistics, guidelines for business listings on the VCB’s consumer Web site and Visitor Guide, media releases, newsletters and much more. It is the industry’s site for information!

Use LeeWaterFacts.com for information on water-related issues.

If you have any questions regarding water quality or information about how you can be better informed about the impact water quality has on our industry and destination visit LeeWaterFacts.com. Please contact Tamara Pigott at 239.338.3500 or TPigott@leegov.com for other questions.

Work with the VCB team to ensure you have an up-to-date crisis management plan.
If you need assistance developing a crisis management plan, contact Pam Brown at 239.338.3500 or PBrown@leegov.com.

Host a FAM for VCB staff and/or Tourism Ambassadors at your business.
To host a staff FAM at your business, contact Pamela Johnson 239.338.3500 or PJohnson@leegov.com. To host the Tourism Ambassadors, contact Simone Behr at 239.590.4855 or SBehr@leegov.com.

Tap into the VCB’s Speakers Bureau.

Tap into the VCB’s Speakers Bureau for presentations about the tourism industry, trends and the work of the VCB. For more information contact Judi Durant at 239.338.3500 or JDurant@leegov.com.

Tourism is a key element in creating a better way of life for Lee County residents and its visitors….AND it’s the backbone of our local economy. These are just a few ways you can do your part to foster tourism development. We hope you’ll get involved in whatever way you can, and we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming Team Tourism program.