Discover New England chief confirmed as NH’s new tourism director
Executive Council approves Lois Harnois’ nomination on unanimous vote
Lori Harnois, executive director of the six-state Discover New England tourism collaborative, will be taking over Jan. 31 as the new director of New Hampshire’s Division of Travel and Tourism Development.
Harnois was unanimously confirmed for the position on Wednesday by the Executive Council. She succeeds Victoria Cimino, who was director of the division from 2014 until April 2019, when she became CEO of the Williamsburg (Va.) Tourism Council.
Amy Bassett, state tourism deputy director, has served as acting director since April.
For the past five years, Harnois has served as executive director of Discover New England, a travel and tourism marketing organization based in Portsmouth. She previously worked at the state Department of Resource and Economic Development, predecessor to the Department of Business and Economic Affairs, which includes the Travel and Tourism Division.
In her new job, Harnois will oversee the state’s “Tourist to Talent” strategy, which seeks to develop associated strategies to support business and workforce recruitment, using marketing and branding created for tourism to drive workforce development and strengthen New Hampshire’s growing economy.
“Lori has more than 20 years of leadership promoting New Hampshire and New England as domestic and international tourism destinations, making her uniquely qualified to assume the role of state tourism director,” said BEA Commissioner Taylor Caswell.