As the executive director of the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau (SACVB), Casandra Matej leads San Antonio’s $12 billion hospitality industry to welcome more than 30 million visitors annually. The SACVB is the key driver for this industry, which is a leading economic sector, employing approximately 112,000 San Antonians.
Her 20-plus years of experience in the tourism industry has spanned convention and visitors bureaus, hotel and leisure industries. Most recently, she served as the Senior Vice President of Sales and Services for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, during which time Casandra restructured the sales divisions, resulting in a 40 percent growth of convention room night sales.
During her tenure in San Antonio, Casandra launched the Top 100 Sales Strategy that targets key local industries (biosciences, cyber security, oil/gas, higher education and green energy) to bring their next meeting or convention to the city.
She led the SACVB in launching “Remember the…,” a consumer-generated, social media-driven campaign that showcased the hidden gems of San Antonio. It resulted in growing VisitSanAntonio’s Facebook Likes from 26,000 to 250,000+ in year one. San Antonio was also the first Destination Marketing Organization to offer a consumer website that utilizes social media settings and interests to provide a personalized user experience.
One of her biggest achievements has been initiating San Antonio’s Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) Program which has grown to become the largest in the country with over 1,700 CTAs dedicated to providing exceptional visitor experiences.
Always committed to the future and growth of San Antonio’s tourism industry, Casandra serves on the leadership team for the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center’s Transformation Project, a $325 million expansion of the city’s prestigious convention center.
Cassandra is currently on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Travel Association and the Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA). She is also involved in the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the International Association of Exhibitors and Events (IAEE), Association Forum of Chicagoland, Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) and many other industry-related organizations. Locally, Casandra is involved with San Antonio Sports Foundation, Valero Alamo Bowl, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Council and serves on the Board of Directors for Boysville, Inc.
Casandra Matej is an enthusiastic Texas Longhorn who holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communications with a concentration in Organizational Communications from the University of Texas at Austin. She and her husband, Chris, are proud parents to John and Ellie Mae, and step-daughters, Madison and Carlie. In her spare time, Matej likes to run, enjoys golf and boating with her family.