Joe Marinelli

President and CEO of Visit Savannah

Episode Themes: Target Markets, Workforce Development, Destination Partnerships.

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Joe Marinelli

With over 35 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, Joseph Marinelli is currently the President & CEO of Visit Savannah, the destination marketing organization for Savannah, Georgia and Tybee Island, Georgia.

Before taking the helm of Visit Savannah in January 2007, Joe served as Senior Vice President at Experience Columbus, the convention bureau for the Columbus, Ohio region. Prior to his ten years in Columbus, Joe served in various sales and marketing roles for Westin Hotels and Resorts in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Washington DC, and at the famed Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Now in his role overseeing Savannah’s primary destination marketing organization, Joe and his 55+ member team focus on attracting leisure visitors to Savannah and Tybee Island as well as bringing conventions, meetings, and tradeshows to the Savannah area while driving business to the more than 2,000 members of the Savannah Chamber of Commerce.

Joe is currently the Public Policy Chair for the Georgia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, a board member of the U.S. Travel Association, and is involved with the Meetings Mean Business Travel Coalition. Joe also serves on the boards of the Savannah Convention Center, Savannah’s Tourism Advisory Council, the Savannah Voice Festival, and the Savannah Music Festival.

Joe is a professional member of the American Society of Association Executives, the Professional Convention Management Association, and Meeting Professionals International.

In his free time, Joe enjoys playing pickleball, tennis, and golf and has a passion for the professional sports teams of his hometown, Cleveland, Ohio. He and his wife Rene have a 23-year-old son, a graduate of the University of South Carolina, and live on Savannah’s Whitemarsh Island.



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