Titan 100 Logo
Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Marc Garcia

President & CEO

Visit Mesa

Location: Mesa

Founded: 1986

Industry: Travel and Tourism

As president and CEO of Visit Mesa, Marc Garcia is dedicated to promoting Mesa as a premier leisure and business travel destination, and he has played a pivotal role in elevating Mesa’s profile.

“I firmly believe in the risk-reward proposition,” Garcia said. “I’ve taken several risks in my career and, for the most part, it has worked out rather well for both the organization and myself.”

Garcia was inspired by his personal experience with his son, who is on the autism spectrum, which led him to recognize the need for tailored travel experiences for individuals with special needs. Under Garcia’s guidance, Visit Mesa became the country’s first destination marketing organization designated as a Certified Autism Center by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards.

Driven by the belief that Mesa could become a trailblazer in autism-friendly travel, Garcia spearheaded the effort to make Mesa America’s first autism-certified city. This achievement not only put Mesa in the national spotlight, but also opened doors to a market of 32 million annual travelers who spend billions on autism-related services each year. By uniting public and private agencies, Visit Mesa successfully created an autism-certified community in which hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues participated in specialized training to better serve the needs of autism spectrum disorder travelers.

“I am most proud of our Autism Certified City designation,” Garcia said. “I did all this after years of dreaming and writing about what our opportunities might be to elevate the Mesa brand given the city’s lack of visitor-serving product as it compares to Phoenix, Scottsdale and other nearby/regional communities. Asking the question: How do we get more visitors and their dollars to Mesa when we don’t have a large convention center, 500-plus hotels/resorts, (or a) stadium/arena? What do we do? How do we do it?”

Beyond the autism initiative, Garcia’s vision for Visit Mesa extends to creating a more inclusive and accessible travel destination overall. The organization is committed to incorporating resources and planning that support visitors and residents alike. Through partnerships with organizations like Wheel the World, Aira and the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program, Visit Mesa is expanding its reach and impact.

Visit Mesa’s branding and marketing efforts have garnered industry recognition and accolades. In 2023, Travel + Leisure honored Visit Mesa with the Global Vision Award, solidifying its status as a leader in the travel industry. Garcia has been recognized as the Tourism Manager of the Year by the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association and named one of the Top 40 Most Influential Phoenicians by Arizona Foothills Magazine.

Garcia is actively involved in various boards and organizations, including the U.S. Travel Association, the Destination Marketing Association of the West, and Mesa United Way. His dedication to driving positive change in the community has made him a respected figure in both the tourism industry and the Mesa community.

Presented by:

Marc Garcia is a music fan. He has helped co-produce and write five original songs all incorporated into Visit Mesa’s marketing campaigns for the past decade. HIs love of music is shared with his family and staff. He has helped guide video concepts for three of the songs and these videos receive heavy rotation on digital ads, on websites and throughout Visit Mesa’s website, www.VisitMesa.com.


Select your market(s)*