Career Spotlight: Inviting the world to stop in, stay awhile, and shop

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David Lydia
David Lydia, of Hallandale Beach, is Tourism Director of Aventura Mall, in Aventura. Photo Courtesy, Aventura Mall – Original Credit: Photo Courtesy, Aventura Mall – Original Source: Photo Courtesy, Aventura Mall (Photo Courtesy, Aventura Mall / Courtesy)

By Cindy Kent
WHO: David Lydia was promoted to tourism director at Aventura Mall, from tourism manager. Lydia, who lives in Hallandale, joined the mall in 2013 as tourism manager. He is responsibile for its visitor outreach programs; building relationships and developing innovative partnerships with tourism bureaus. The career move blends his passion for both the retail and tourism industries, he says.

Why this job is important: Simply put, tourism is the Florida’s #1 industry and shopping is the #1 activity among international visitors. It’s vital for retail venues to focus on tourism.

Why I’m a good fit: I spent more than a decade at destination marketing organizations such as the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau..With a strong tourism background, I’m able to identify the best tour operator partners, travel agencies and area hotels, as well as the most appropriate trade shows and sales missions to attend.

What people don’t know about my job My suitcase is always packed and ready. It requires a ton of international travel; I’ve visited seven countries while representing Aventura Mall.

Being multi-lingual is a plus: I speak English, Portuguese and Spanish, meaning I can travel throughout Latin America,and communicate with contacts in their native language.

Being social: Aventura Mall has more than 500,000 Facebook followers, many across Latin America.

On the job

Typical day: I begin each work day by walking the entire shopping center to ensure it’s ready to receive our guests. I check in with our in-market reps and local and international partners for news and updates, keeping in mind their based in array of time zones. I personally welcome groups to the shopping center and host tours with travel agencies and media.

Industry wisdom: Relationships are integral, treat everyone with respect. The person you meet today can become an industry leader. The contact you have coffee with can become your best customer.