Respected Tourism Executive Joins Travel Nevada as Chief Executive Officer 

Rafael Villanueva brings global experience, strategy, and vision to state agency tasked with promotion of Nevada Tourism 

Carson City, NV – Travel Nevada, the agency tasked with the promotion and marketing of Nevada as a tourism destination, announces the hire of Rafael Villanueva as its first Chief Executive Officer.  

In this role, Villanueva will direct and supervise all administrative and technical activities of the Division of Tourism (Travel Nevada). This includes implementing the strategic plan for tourism and analyzing the effectiveness of programs and associated expenditures. Villanueva will additionally oversee marketing, communications, industry development, and Nevada Magazine + Visitor Guide.   

“Rafael is a well-known and respected tourism industry leader,” said Brenda Scolari, Director, Nevada Department of Tourism & Cultural Affairs. “His global tourism experience and love for Nevada will guide the Division of Tourism to new heights with a fresh perspective on market development, consumer trade, and the overall visitor experience.”   

Villanueva comes to Travel Nevada with a wealth of experience, serving a variety of clients on a global scale. He spent 22 years with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), first as Senior Director of International Sales and then Senior Director of Global Development, key roles in the authority’s international tourism sale and marketing efforts. Under his leadership, he oversaw contracts and budgets of 15 global offices that promoted Las Vegas in 40 countries. Prior to his time with the LVCVA, Villanueva served as the Executive Director of Advertising and Public Relations at the Tropicana Resort and Casino. 

Following his departure from the LVCVA, Villanueva formed Beyond Global Solutions, a tourism marketing consulting company specializing in the development of strategic domestic and international inbound marketing programs and event management.   

Villanueva is a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, graduating from Las Vegas High School and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  

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The Nevada Division of Tourism is a division of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. More commonly known as Travel Nevada, the Nevada Division of Tourism is responsible for promoting and marketing Nevada as a travel destination to domestic and international travelers. Travel Nevada is funded solely by a percentage of lodging tax paid by overnight guests throughout the state. For more, visit