Craig Davis Tapped as New Leader of VisitDallas

December 4, 2019

A new leader will soon take the helm at VisitDallas, the city’s convention and visitors bureau responsible for attracting tourism, meetings and conventions to the Texas destination. On Jan. 6, 2020, Craig Davis, the current president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH, will become the Dallas CVB’s new president and CEO. 

Davis will replace VisitDallas Interim President and CEO Sam Coats, who assumed leadership of the agency in May after former President and CEO Phillip Jones stepped down. Jones left his position following a controversy stirred up by a January audit that questioned the ROI of the CVB’s marketing efforts, as well as his salary. 

“I’ve been honored to serve as Interim President and CEO these past few months, but now I’m pleased to be handing the reins over to Craig’s very capable hands,” Coats said. 

Davis has worked in the hospitality industry for more than three decades, including hotel executive experience in Toronto, Chicago and Pittsburgh. He began his tenure at VisitPITTSBURGH in 2000 as executive director of convention sales, was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing in 2007, and to president and CEO in March 2012.

“Craig stood out among many highly qualified applicants for his strong leadership abilities and extensive destination, hotel and hospitality experience,” explained VisitDallas Board of Directors Incoming Chair Joyce Williams, who along with Outgoing Chair Mark Woelffer led a special selection committee that selected Davis for the leadership role. 

She added, “He has an impeccable reputation in the industry and we’re thrilled to bring his expertise to Dallas.”

While at VisitPITTSBURGH, Davis was responsible for overseeing the convention sales and marketing efforts for David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the first Gold and Platinum LEED-certified convention center in the world. He currently serves as the chair of Destinations International, which represents destination organizations and convention and visitor bureaus across the globe. 

“Dallas is an amazing city and the VisitDallas team is regarded very well nationally,” Davis said. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining the team of the No. 5 convention city in the nation, the only Texas city in the Top 10, and the No. 1 visitor destination in the state. Dallas is a city on the move, and I’m honored to be a part of its future.”

Born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Davis became a U.S. citizen in 2001. He will reside in Dallas. 


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