NewsRegion C Palm Beach County

Actions

Discover the Palm Beaches gears up for tourist season amid coronavirus pandemic

Hispanic woman will serve as chair for 1st time
Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 18:00:18-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Discover the Palm Beaches is welcoming new leadership as the winter tourism season gets underway.

The tourism agency hopes to focus on diversity, inclusion and rebuilding during the pandemic.

From the Boca Raton Resort to The Ben hotel in West Palm Beach, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused hotels to get creative to make sure guests feel safe when they visit.

Ahead of a new tourism season, Discover the Palm Beaches is making changes too.

There are changes on the board of directors every two years.

Jorge Pesquera
Jorge Pesquera, president of Discover the Palm Beaches, says the new leadership offers the chance for new ideas as the agency welcomes tourists despite the pandemic.

However, the president of Discover the Palm Beaches, Jorge Pesquera, said it is important to build the board's leadership around the direction of where they want to go as a destination.

"[We would like] to showcase the Palm Beaches as a diverse and inclusive community. [It is] critically important," Pesquera said.

He said for the first time a Hispanic woman will serve as the chair.

Rita Barreto
Rita Barreto is the first Hispanic woman to serve as the chair for Discover the Palm Beaches.

"We have Rita Barreto as the chair. We have Jason Emmett who is with Paradigm Hospitality Group and is a millennial and brings the restaurant and millennial perspective," Pesquera said.

President of the Urban League Patrick Franklin is also moving up as the Immediate Past Chair.

"We are focused on developing new ideas for a leisure campaign, for new ways to communicate to the meeting planners who are beginning to hold meetings. I feel more relieved that we have this combination of the most incredible talent, giving us guidance and advice as we move through this very difficult time in our history," Pesquera said.