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Let us introduce you to Adam Thomas, who started as the director of tourism for Visit Pasco in September 2017. Adam was a minor league baseball pitcher in his early days, and later found his calling in marketing and tourism. He had previously been the director of the Citrus County Visitor and Conventions Bureau.

His travel bug caught on after working with a non-profit called Hero’s Baseball. But, if you’re wondering how does a former minor league baseball player become a diretor of tourism, we’ll let him tell you more in this installment of Coffee Time with Industry Vets Q&A series.

Where did you go on your first trip and how old were you?
Every year in August, my family would travel from our home in North Miami down to Islamorada in the Keys to dive for lobster. Diving in the Keys was an incredible experience as a child. Sometimes dolphins would swim next to us, but just taking in the vivid sea life was an incredible sight to see at such a young age.

Adam’s daughter enjoying a beach day.

What is your most vivid travel memory?
As a homegrown Florida boy, I remember the first time I went snowboarding which was in Loveland, Colorado with my wife. It was the winter of 2010 and we had just gotten married. It was my first time experiencing snow sporting activities. I was so incredibly sore after but had the best time going down the mountain.

What was the “Aha” moment that led you into the travel industry?
I used to play professional baseball. While I lived in Dallas I ran a non-profit organization called Heroes Baseball that was founded by Mark Cuban’s financial advisor. During that time we created tournaments for kids that would come from different areas surrounding Dallas and neighboring states. Seeing the economic impact that tourism and certain travel markets had on a community made me realize that was my calling.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went to Key West, Florida for 14 days and did absolutely nothing. It was amazing.

What was your favorite trip you took last year and why?
My family and I traveled to Ana Maria Island. It was so great spending quality time with the family on the beach.

Where would you like to go that you have yet to visit?
Where do I begin? If I had to pick just one place I would say Bora Bora to stay in one of the over-the-water bungalows.

Do you always buy a souvenir the first time you visit a destination?
Does beer count as a souvenir? Typically when I visit a destination for the first time I like to buy a local craft beer made in each city I’m visiting.

You can tell us – do you collect magnets from the destinations you’ve visited?
Secrets out. Every new place I go I get a magnet. It’s a great souvenir! They’re small and  inexpensive and a constant visual reminder of all the places I’ve been.

What do you do to pass the time on the plane ride to your destination?
I like to take the time to catch up on reading work documents or finish a book I’ve been reading. Sometimes I just put it all down and enjoy a good movie.

Adam Thomas
Adam with his family.

Who is your favorite travel companion?
My wife and my family.

If there were one hotel room in the world you could call home the rest of your life, which would it be?
I’d have to give a shout out to the Florida’s east coast and say The Breakers. It’s a beautiful, historical hotel that sits right on the Atlantic coast in West Palm Beach.

What is the best food you’ve had on a trip? The strangest?
There isn’t just one answer for both of these.

Best: I always try to eat where the locals eat when I travel. From mom and pop shops to really cool restaurants, I like to try and find that unique dining experience at each destination.

Strangest: Anything I ate while I was playing baseball in Taiwan was the most memorable for how unfamiliar it was for me. The post-game meals consisted of fish eyes and chicken feet.

What can’t you travel without?
Visine. Your eyes tell a story and I want my story to be clear. If you look tired or your eyes are red, it might not give someone the best impression of you.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met while traveling?
Actor Geoff Stults from “Wedding Crashers” and “7th Heaven.” We’ve ended up sitting next to each other on three different flights.

Adam’s kids enjoying a family vacation at the theme park.

Tropical beach or Snowy Mountain?
Tropical beach, hands down.

City or countryside?
Countryside. It’s the best place to unwind and put your feet up.


To learn more bout other industry leaders, check out our Coffee Time with Industry Vets series.