MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, is one of 32 members who have been appointed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

Established in 2003, the board serves as an advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States. Its members represent a broad cross section of the industry, including transportation services, financial services and hotels and restaurants, as well as a mix of other small and large firms from across the country.

"I'm honored to join the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and pleased to have the opportunity to serve our nation's tourism industry," Dean said. "Secretary Pritzker and her team at the U.S. Department of Commerce understand the importance of tourism to our national economy.  I look forward to working with them to help promote, protect and improve our tourism industry, both locally and nationally." 

In addition to his new appointment and his role as CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Dean serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Travel Association and Destination Marketing Association International.

Last month, the Commerce Department released new data showing that spending by international visitors in 2013 totaled more than $180.7 billion, up nearly $1.3 billion per month in 2012. The travel and tourism industry now accounts for 26 percent of all American services exports, and nearly eight percent of overall exports.