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Rafael Villanueva Hired as Travel Nevada’s First CEO

Rafael Villanueva Headshot

Travel Nevada hired veteran tourism executive Rafael Villanueva as the organization’s first CEO.  

In the new role, Villanueva will direct and supervise all administrative and technical activities of Travel Nevada. This includes implementing the organization’s strategic plans to increase tourism and analyzing the effectiveness of programs and initiatives. He will also help oversee the organization’s marketing, communications and industry development initiatives as well as helping to produce the Nevada Magazine + Visitor Guide.    

Villanueva is a lifelong resident of Nevada, having graduated from both Las Vegas High School and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Prior to joining Travel Nevada, he spent 22 years with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), first as senior director of international sales and then as senior director of global development. Following his departure from the LVCVA, Villanueva formed Beyond Global Solutions, a tourism marketing consulting company specializing in the development of strategic domestic and international inbound marketing programs and event management.  

“Rafael is a well-known and respected tourism industry leader,” said Brenda Scolari, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism & Cultural Affairs. “His global tourism experience and love for Nevada will guide the Division of Tourism to new heights with a fresh perspective on market development, consumer trade, and the overall visitor experience.”    

Read more about recent moves and appointments in the meetings and events industry. 

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Logan Pratt | Digital Content Coordinator

Logan Pratt joined Meetings Today in May 2023 as digital content coordinator, focusing on digital marketing efforts and covering breaking news stories for the Meetings Today website and newsletters. To send a press release or any information regarding the meetings and events industry please email