Destinations International Global Ambassador Award

The Destinations International's Global Ambassador Award celebrates professionals in destination management who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and innovation on the global stage. Presented annually at IMEX Frankfurt, this prestigious recognition is bestowed upon individuals within Destinations International's global community who have not only transformed their destinations but have also significantly impacted their organizations and the travel and tourism industry at large.  

Honorees of this award stand out for their exceptional ability to foster collaboration within their destinations and across the broader industry to advance their global goals. They exemplify forward-thinking and resilience, actively engaging in mentorship and collaborative initiatives that contribute to the industry's growth. By representing their destinations on an international scale, these leaders showcase excellence in destination management, leaving an enduring mark on both their local communities and advancing the global goals of the tourism landscape at large.  

The Destinations International Global Ambassador Award is a symbol of their dedication to elevating the standards of destination management worldwide. 

Selection Criteria:

To celebrate outstanding achievements in destination management, our selection process is designed to spotlight leaders who exemplify innovation, leadership, and a commitment to the field. Nominees must showcase a comprehensive approach, significantly contributing to the industry's growth and resilience. Candidates are required to meet at least five of the outlined criteria, demonstrating their impact and excellence. These criteria reflect Destinations International's focus on community and address the key issues identified in our annual strategic outlook. This approach ensures we honor individuals who not only excel personally but also drive collective advancement and address the industry's evolving needs.  

Industry Contribution and Mentorship: Honorees giving back to the destination industry by actively contributing expertise, knowledge, and resources. Honorees are involved in mentorship programs, educational initiatives, or leadership roles in industry associations. Honorees showcase a dedication to the growth and development of professionals within the destination management field. 

Industry Collaboration: Honorees demonstrate effective collaboration and partnership building within the destination management industry, fostering relationships with associations, the private sector, elected officials, and other stakeholders.

Innovative Destination Management: Honorees contribute to the innovative development and management of their destination, showcasing unique approaches that have positively impacted tourism and community growth. 

An Eye Toward Sustainability: Honorees demonstrate commitment to sustainability and destination stewardship. Honorees have a proven record of minimizing environmental impact, supporting local communities, and promoting responsible travel.

Adaptability and Resilience: Honoree has demonstrated leadership in times of crisis. Honoree has led recovery from natural disasters or other crises, showcasing effective crisis management strategies and resilience in maintaining the destination's brand.

Enhancing the Visitor Experience: Honoree has implemented initiatives that have improved the overall visitor experience through a welcoming and belonging lens. This may include investment in infrastructure, accessibility, technology, and cultural offerings that contribute to the destination's attractiveness.

Community Engagement and Inclusivity: The honoree is committed to community engagement, empowerment, and inclusivity, emphasizing initiatives that benefit residents and create a positive impact on the destination's social fabric.

Global Leadership and Representation: The honoree’s legacy is truly global in scope. Honoree has a role in representing the destination on a global stage, actively participating in international forums, and contributing to the advancement of global tourism best practices. 

2024 Honoree: 

Paul Kelly, Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland

Past Honorees

2023 Yrjötapio "YT" Kivisaari, CEO, Visit Oulu 

2022 Adam Burke, President & CEO, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

2021 No awardee

2020 No awardee

2019 Tammy Blount Canavan, FCDME, President & CEO, Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau

2018 Ignasi de Delas, Deputy General Manager, Turisme de Barcelona

2017 Ana Maria Gallego, Gerente General, Medellín Convention & Visitors Bureau

2016 Elliott Ferguson, President & CEO, Destination DC