Paul Beirnes, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau, is stepping down from his post as of Nov. 10.
He has been executive director of the county’s tourism agency for more than two years.
Responding to questions Monday, convention and visitors bureau officials said, “Paul Beirnes, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau will be leaving his position with Collier County Tourism Division effective Nov. 10, 2023, for another career opportunity. At this time, a search is underway for his replacement.”
No further information was given. Beirnes has taken a position with the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, or CVB, where he will start Nov. 20.
Beirnes, who couldn’t be reached for comment, joined the county’s Tourism Development Council as a deputy director of tourism in November 2020. He was selected as the heir apparent to Jack Wert, who retired at the end of June in 2021.
During his tenure, the CVB hired a liaison for arts and culture, which are strong traffic drivers in the county. It has five theaters, a philharmonic orchestra, one local and two opera companies, at least a half dozen museums and art centers and a major performance hall.
It also embarked on the concept of themed seasons, beginning with Arte Viva!, highlighting Hispanic and Latin culture.
In February, Beirnes was named one of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds for 2022 by Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. The honor annually recognizes exemplary achievement and leadership in hospitality sales, marketing, revenue optimization and distribution.
Recently, Beirnes was pressured by Collier County commissioners to reduce or eliminate the annual grants awarded to arts organizations that promote tourism in the county. The awards were granted at the last meeting.