Following an extensive nationwide search, Visit San Antonio has selected an industry expert with deep knowledge of the San Antonio market to join its executive team. Mario Bass (pictured right) will join Visit San Antonio on October 11 as the new vice president of sales and services.
“One of the foundations of San Antonio’s strong tourism industry is its convention business so it was imperative that the vice president role have an exceptional leader and proven expert in the field. In Mario Bass we found the motivational and energetic leadership style along with tried and true experience that are ideal fits for our core values and goals,” says Casandra Matej, president and CEO, Visit San Antonio. “With the recent debut of the renovated and expanded Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the forward momentum across the entire destination, we look forward to having Mario lead our continued sales growth for years to come.”
Bass currently serves as director of sales and marketing for JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the hotel industry including the flagship Marriott Marquis in New York and the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine as well as nearly 10 years in San Antonio hotels and resorts with strong convention bases. “The award winning team at Visit San Antonio is renowned in the industry and I’m thrilled to be joining the group of hospitality professionals,” says Bass. “I am looking forward to joining the sales and services team in their efforts in keeping San Antonio the preeminent meetings and leisure destination in Texas!”
In his new role, Bass will provide strategic leadership to the sales and destination services departments of Visit San Antonio. The sales division is a key player in securing group meetings and industry trade shows which contribute significantly to the San Antonio economy. Additionally, the sales team is responsible for helping San Antonio maintain a high level of visibility within the meetings industry and maintaining an ongoing communications strategy with key customers. The destination services division streamlines the planning process for meeting professionals to create unforgettable meetings and events in San Antonio. Visit San Antonio’s destination services team connects planners with local resources, unique venues, dining and entertainment opportunities, and can be an advocate as needs arise.
The position became available following the recent announcement by Steve Clanton (pictured left), current vice president of sales and services, to retire as of October 20 following a distinguished career of more than 40 years in hospitality and tourism, including 12 years with Visit San Antonio (previously the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau) and 25 years with Marriott International.
Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes 20.9 million overnight visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $13.6 billion into the local economy and employing more than 130,000. For more info, visit www.VisitSanAntonio.com.