Francois-Laurent Nivaud is new Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

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Francois-Laurent Nivaud, a respected leader in the Massachusetts hospitality industry, became the new Executive Director for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism earlier this week.

When making the announcement, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said, “Travel and tourism touch every part of the Commonwealth, supporting local economies from the Berkshires to Cape Cod. Francois has been involved in the national hospitality industry for decades, and he is uniquely qualified to help Massachusetts leverage our unique tourism assets to drive broad economic growth.”

Assistant Secretary for Business Development Nam Pham noted, “The travel and tourism industry employs more than 130,000 people who receive $3.7 billion in wages, making it one of the largest sectors in the Commonwealth. Francois’ private-sector experience in hospitality, marketing and tourism will help us highlight Massachusetts and draw visitors to festivals, beaches, landscapes and historic sites.”

Massachusetts attracts 22.9 million domestic, 735,000 Canadian and 1.5 million overseas visitors each year, according to MOTT.

“Supporting Massachusetts’ tourism sector requires identifying and building on the historic and aesthetic aspects of our cities and towns,” said Nivaud. “I look forward to working with the public and private sector to draw people to Massachusetts.”

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A native of France, Nivaud brings decades of experience in the hospitality and tourism industries to the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. In 1998 he created New England Management Services (NEMS), a think tank for the hospitality industry that has been involved in consulting projects around the country and was instrumental in developing a Hotel & Residences complex at Battery Wharf in Boston in 2008.

He was the Managing Director of the Boston Harbor Hotel from 1988-1999, helping to position it as an industry-leading hotel property. He founded the Boston Wine Festival, now in its 27th year, and the Boston Wine Expo, the first wine symposium in the Northeast.

Nivaud also served as the Dean of the Roger A. Saunders School of Business & Hospitality Management at Newbury College. He is a Director Emeritus of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau and served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce from 1995-2013. He co-founded the Massachusetts Visitor Industry Council and created the Massachusetts Lodging Association.

Francois is married with three children and lives in Cohasset.

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