Latin American Director Appointment Signals “New Era” For Area Tourism

Monday, January 13, 2014 - 2:23pm

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (October 28, 2013) - Visit St Pete/Clearwater is proud to announce the appointment of Ana Fernandez as its first ever Director of Latin American Sales. Fernandez, a tourism industry veteran with more than a decade of experience working the Latin American markets, comes from the Loews Don CesarHotel on St. Pete Beach,where she was Travel Industry Sales Manager.She will join the VSPC team starting next Monday,November 4.

"It's a tremendous honor to be chosen to represent the St. Pete/Clearwater area in such a dynamic, up-and-coming market," said Fernandez, a native Spanish speaker hailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico. "This area is relatively unknown across the spectrum of Latin American markets, so I look forward to making sure it gets the recognition---and visitation---it deserves," she added.

The hiring of a full-time director for Latin America---the first new CVB department in more than two decades---signals the start of a new era in tourism development for the St.Petersburg/Clearwater area.

"We're so pleased to have someone with Ana's experience and passion join our team," said VSPC Executive Director DT Minich. "This is a real game-changer for us," he added.

According to Minich, VSPC and Visit Tampa Bay established developmental offices in South America nearly a decade ago, so the new in-house position will build upon a foundation that was years in the making.

But the development of direct air service to Latin America was a prerequisite to the establishment of a full-time VSPC department dedicated solely to that market. "The new direct service connecting us to Latin America on Copa Airlines was the last piece of the puzzle we needed in place before moving forward," said Minich. "And we plan to make the most of it starting December 17, when the service starts with four flights a week."

In keeping with the new focus on Latin America, VSPC is also significantly increasing the amount of Portuguese and Spanish-language content available across its many platforms,with market-specific advertisements and materials the Spanish-language version of"We've been working on this for a long, long time," said Minich. "But this is really just the beginning."