Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, has been named State Tourism Director of the Year by the National Council of State Tourism Directors of the U.S. Travel Association.
“It is truly impressive the way Brad has excelled in understanding the culture and spirit of Puerto Rico and how to position the destination to attract travelers,” said Roger Dow, CEO of U.S. Travel.
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi highlighted Dean’s commitment to the recovery and growth of Puerto Rico “and for being part of the Puerto Rico dream team.”
“Despite challenges in recent years, Puerto Rico’s tourism industry has seen consistent growth under Dean’s leadership, from strong branding that aids in cementing Puerto Rico as a global destination to critical crisis planning and management, which has been integral in allowing us to stay resilient in the face of adversity,” Pierluisi said.
Since taking the lead of Discover Puerto Rico in 2018 following a 15-year stint as CEO of the Myrtle Beach, S.C., Chamber of Commerce, Dean has shepherded the island’s tourism industry through a period of recovery and growth following setbacks ranging from hurricanes to earthquakes and the pandemic.
Under Dean’s watch, Discover Puerto Rico launched a rebranding of the island’s tourism position, leading to increases in revenues, hotel demand and airport arrivals.
The island currently is experiencing its highest ever year-to-date lodging revenues. As of Aug. 17, hotel revenues for 2021 were $377 million and independent rental revenue was $221 million, according to STR and AirDNA.
Air arrivals in July totaled 553,554, topping the previous record set in June of 512,796 arrivals.
The second quarter also had more arrivals into San Juan Airport than any quarter on record, with 1.3 million arrivals, according to AeroStar Airport Holdings.
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