Park Board CEO Kelly de Schaun continues to make her mark on the Texas tourism industry. Now in her 10th year of leading the park board, she has recently been named chair of the Texas Travel Alliance board of directors. This is de Schaun’s fourth term to serve the organization, the primary advocate for the Texas tourism industry.

It’s no wonder she’s been selected to lead this organization. De Schaun brings to the table more than 30 years in the tourism industry, having worked as a destination director in the Dominican Republic and an executive for the wider Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association.

During her tenure at the park board, the organization has achieved record-setting hotel occupancy tax collections, obtained new funding streams for capital projects including beach building and has managed budgets exceeding $40 million.

In addition, she and her team have prioritized environmental stewardship, building positive resident sentiment through an ambitious advocacy strategy, and has spearheaded diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. She and her team also have worked diligently at the state and federal levels to advance policies favorable to the Texas tourism industry.

The alliance is the primary advocate and voice for the Texas travel industry, representing a diverse membership of Texas travel destinations, accommodations, attractions, transportation and support businesses. The travel industry in Texas employs more than 1.3 million Texans and has a $169 billion dollar economic impact on the Texas economy. The alliance strives to offer its members and their employees industry-leading education and professional development while advocating to strengthen travel in Texas.

“Kelly’s unique experience in both tourism and government has helped to propel Galveston into a top-tier regional and national destination,” Landry’s Vice President of Hospitality Paul Schultz said. “Her ability to leverage resources while garnering buy-in from businesses, stakeholders and government officials will be a tremendous asset in her role as chair of this prestigious board.”

“This is a critical time for travel and tourism and the economies it powers throughout communities in Texas,” de Schaun said. “I consider it a tremendous honor to have been elected by my peers to lead the association at this time. I’m confident in the tremendous professionalism and dedication of the entire board of directors of the Texas Travel Alliance to assist in the recovery of our Texas-based tourism businesses.”

Park board meetings are typically held a 1:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 601 23rd St.

Mary Beth Bassett is the public relations director for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Park Board of Trustees.

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