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Discover Puerto Rico CEO gets US Travel Association award for heading recovery

The National Council of State Tourism Directors of the US Travel Association awarded Brad Dean the organization’s highest recognition, “State Tourism Director of the Year,” for the “exceptional results achieved under his leadership for the accelerated recovery of the visitor economy in Puerto Rico.”

The award was announced during the US Travel Association Convention held Los Angeles last weekend and was presented to Dean during the event’s plenary session on Aug. 16.

“It is truly impressive how Brad has excelled in understanding the culture and spirit of Puerto Rico, and how he has positioned it to attract travelers,” said US Travel Association CEO Roger Dow.

“His affection for the beauty of the island is reflected through the organization’s industry-leading marketing efforts, which despite the headwinds of the past year, has resulted in phenomenal success,” he said.

“This award is not just a recognition of my colleague accomplishments, but for his passion for Puerto Rico and the people whose livelihoods are made better by the island’s thriving travel and tourism industry,” Dow said.

Puerto Rico has been in recovery mode since the start of 2021, topping 2019 numbers for passenger traffic, hotel bookings and revenue.

Candidates for the “State Tourism Director of the Year Award” are nominated by other state tourism directors and a slate of three finalists is presented for selection by ballot. Puerto Rico is the first US territory to be recognized with this award, the entity said.

Since taking the helm of Puerto Rico’s Destination Marketing Organization in July 2018, Dean has guided the island’s tourism industry through setbacks including the coronavirus pandemic and Hurricanes Irma and María.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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