Brand USA Names NYC Tourism’s Fred Dixon as CEO

Fred Dixon NYC Tourism Conventions skift global forum 2023

Skift Take

Industry veteran Fred Dixon is going to bring his experience promoting NYC to the nation’s top tourism marketing job.

Brand USA, America’s destination marketing organization, said Wednesday that Fred Dixon would be its next CEO. Dixon, currently head of CEO and president of NYC Tourism + Conventions, will start his new role July 15.

Dixon is replacing Christopher Thompson, who announced his retirement in July 2023. Thompson has been at the helm of Brand USA since 2012, and will continue to work with the organization through September 20.

Dixon has been head of NYC Tourism + Conventions since 2014. He is stepping down in June. NYC Tourism + Conventions Chief Marketing Officer Nancy Mammana will serve as interim CEO.

“I am incredibly honored and excited to serve as the next President and CEO of Brand USA,” said Dixon. “I want to thank Chris for his many years of leadership and his friendship. I look forward to joining this team and working across the industry to propel us forward.” 

Brand USA is responsible for growing international inbound travel to the United States. Dixon will oversee all of Brand USA’s operations as the company prepares for its next phase of growth.   

NYC’s Tourism Champion

Dixon oversaw the tourism promotion and recovery of New York City during the Covid-19 pandemic when the city’s tourism sector was devastated. 

Dixon helped NYC Tourism secure $30 million in American Rescue Plan funds from the federal government to market the city during its roughest period in tourism. During that time, the organization also rebranded from its old NYC +Company name to NYC Tourism + Conventions.

During his tenure as a trustee for New York and New Jersey’s FIFA 2026 World Cup hosting committee, the metropolitan area secured the opportunity to host the final match and 7 other games.

At Skift Global Forum, Dixon pushed back against claims that New York’s Airbnb crackdown was making the city less affordable to tourists.

Prior to joining NYC Tourism, Dixon served in positions at the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Planet Hollywood International, The Biltmore Estate, the Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau and Delta Airlines, according to Destinations International.

Brand USA Faces Challenges to Growing International Tourism

Dixon will be stepping into the Brand USA executive role as the U.S. tries to make a full international tourism recovery. Due to weak air connectivity, tourism from China — the U.S.’s highest pre-pandemic spending market — has been slow to bounce back.

Long visa wait times have continued to deter a large number of tourists from India, Colombia and Mexico — top source markets for the U.S. 

America’s outdated air infrastructure continues to make travel difficult for international inbound travelers and restrict the flight capacity of airports.

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