BOSTON — The new hire responsible for marketing the Bay State's tourist attractions spent a decade as the managing director of Boston Harbor Hotel and started a think tank for the industry.
On Friday, Francois-Laurent Nivaud was named executive director for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism by Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash.
"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," Ash said in a statement.
A Cohasset resident, Nivaud replaces Richard Doucette, a former advertising executive and Swampscott resident, who resigned last fall.
The new hire also arrives after a recent shakeup in Rhode Island, where Betsy Wall, a former head of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, resigned after a botched advertising campaign.
Nivaud helped found the Boston Wine Festival and the Massachusetts Lodging Association and held a director position at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce from 1995 to 2013, according to Ash's office. From 1988 to 1999 he was managing director of the Boston Harbor Hotel, and in 1998 he created New England Management Services, a hospitality think tank, according to the announcement.
Assistant Secretary for Business Development Nam Pham said the tourism industry employs 130,000 people making $3.7 billion in wages, and Nivaud will help "draw visitors to festivals, beaches, landscapes, and historic sites."