Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau welcomes Gregg Caren as new president and CEO

 Thursday, May 14, 2020 

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Gregg Caren

The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau has named Gregg Caren as the new president and CEO of the tourism organisation.

Gregg Caren has more than three decades of experience in this travel and tourism industry. He most recently served as executive vice president of sales and strategic business development for Conshohocken-based ASM Global. This operates more than 350 venues worldwide. He also worked in various senior leadership positions with the company for 20 years.

He will start the work for Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau on June 8. Gregg Caren is replacing Julie Coker, who served as CEO for more than five years. He also headed to lead the San Diego Tourism Authority. The two will work together on a transition plan before Coker departs on May 28.

His previous responsibility includes executive vice president of the convention center division and strategic business development for SMG. In that role, he secured event bookings for convention and exhibition venues across North America, Europe and Asia, growing the company’s international presence.

The industry veteran, Gregg Caren launched his career with Marriott Hotels and Resorts, one of the top- class hospitality company and has additionally served in senior leadership positions at Atlantic City entertainment venues, plus the Valley Forge Convention Center and Sheraton Valley Forge.

Gregg Caren starts at a time when Greater Philadelphia’s tourism & travel industry has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. The public health crisis in Philadelphia has caused the sector to lose hundreds of pieces of business and thousands of hotel room nights, including those linked to several canceled “citywides,” meaning events or conventions generating at least 2,000 occupied hotel rooms on their peak night.  hotels are aching for a comeback as they experience all time low occupancies, direly impacting hotel taxes in Philadelphia, which provide 86% of the visitors bureau’s annual revenue.

The board of directors of Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau has  unanimously approved Caren’s appointment.

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