Casandra Matej, San Antonio's top tourism official, departs for job in Orlando

click to enlarge Visit San Antonio CEO Casandra Matej - Courtesy Photo / Visit San Antonio
Courtesy Photo / Visit San Antonio
Visit San Antonio CEO Casandra Matej
Casandra Matej, a key figure in San Antonio's tourism and hospitality sector for nearly a decade, will resign as president and CEO of Visit San Antonio for a similar gig in Orlando, Florida.

Matej will take over as CEO of Visit Orlando after her resignation becomes effective January 26, according to an announcement from Visit San Antonio.

Matej's departure comes as the pandemic keeps tourism in the Alamo City at a near standstill. The city of San Antonio this month said it will need to make $13.4 million in bond payments to keep the Grand Hyatt convention center hotel in operation.

Matej's successor will face the tough task of rebuilding one of San Antonio's biggest industries amid a global cratering of travel and tourism.

Visit San Antonio Board has named Chief Operating Officer Dave Krupinski as interim director. Krupinski has been with the organization since 2013.

“Replacing someone of Casandra’s caliber will be difficult,” said Jeffrey Arndt,
chairman of Visit San Antonio's board. “Her influence on the tourism and hospitality industry over the past decade has been remarkable. Under her watch, San Antonio has enjoyed significant moments and growth that will endure as a legacy to her impact."

Matej joined Visit San Antonio in 2011, when it was organized as the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau. Visits to the Alamo City increased by 37% under her watch, hitting 41 million in 2019.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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