Tributes for Visit USA Chair, Sarah Lax

by Steve Hartridge

The Visit USA Association has paid tributes to its "dynamic Chair" Sarah Lax, who has died after a five-year fight with cancer.

A statement from the Visit USA team and directors said: “Sarah Lax passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, on Thursday July 15, 2021.

“She fought a long battle (with cancer) and throughout this time maintained her unwavering positive outlook and optimism, not to mention her disarming sense of humour.”

“Sarah has been Chair of the Visit USA (UK) Association for over four years, over which time her passion for the USA and love of the travel industry shone through. Her knowledge, experience and determination have guided the association through the last 15 months with a calm approach and steadfast plan."

Jody Hanson, Board Director, and Visit USA (UK) Association, said: "Having served on the Visit USA board for two decades, I had the pleasure of serving alongside Sarah for many years.  Sarah was a truly dynamic Chair. She had vision, finesse and got the job done with minimum fuss and maximum impact.” 

Sarah, who was also Virgin Holidays' Purchasing Manager, worked in the travel industry for over 35 years and had an in-depth knowledge of the USA, particularly what made the destination so attractive for UK visitors.  

When standing for re-election to the Visit USA Chair she said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the Board of Directors for Visit USA (UK) for the last few years and, along with holding the position of Chair of Visit USA (UK) have played an active role in other committees.  

"We are continuously seeking to improve the events and opportunities that we provide to our members... ensuring a platform for them to be heard. 

"We have raised our profile with the U.S Embassy and been instrumental in many ongoing discussions with the US Ambassador and the Embassy over the last year in how we can work together to get tourism back to the U.S in a safe and constructive environment."

"We have now entered a new phase where Visit USA (UK) has the ability, resource and ambition to provide more added value and development opportunities for our members which will directly impact visitation to the USA." 

Visit USA said: “Sarah will be greatly missed by all of us who had the pleasure of working with her. Our hearts go out to Sarah’s family, friends and colleagues and we hope that knowing how loved and respected she was by an entire industry will bring comfort to them at this very difficult and sad time.”

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