2021 Visitor Services Summit

Thank you for an inspiring 2021 Summit! See you next year!

The 2021 Visitor Services Summit focused on the impact of the pandemic on Visitors Centers and how to tell a new story for your destination this year.


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2021 Agenda

Schedule subject to change.
Welcome to the Summit
12:30 PM - 1:00 PM ET
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Join us for exclusive partner interviews about the future of visitor services in a post-COVID world. Join us on the virtual platform for interviews with TrueOmni and Fuseideas.
Opening Remarks
1:00 PM - 1:05 PM ET
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Destinations International President & CEO Don Welsh welcomes you to this year's Visitor Services Summit.

Presented by: Brand USA
Don Welsh headshot Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International
Opportunities for Cannabis-Serving Destinations
1:05 PM - 1:40 PM ET
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Research shows that 29% of the U.S. Active Leisure Travel audience are enticed by the ability to access cannabis, hemp and CBD-related experiences while on vacation. As legal cannabis emerges around the world, cannabis-serving destinations are seizing the opportunity. Join us for a thought-provoking and informative 30-minute discussion with destination and travel industry leaders on the cutting-edge of cannabis adoption and innovation. Learn how to prepare for and capitalize on the rapidly growing cannabis travel trend.

Presented by: Tempest
Brian Applegarth headshot Brian Applegarth
Founder & Partner
Cultivar Brands
Todd Aaronson headshot Todd Aaronson
Visit Modesto
Scott White headshot Scott White
President & CEO
Greater Palm Springs CVB
Creating an Accessible Destination
1:40 PM - 2:30 PM ET
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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turned 30 in 2020. Among its many key provisions, this landmark civil rights legislation affirms the inherent dignity of every person regardless of disability, prohibits discrimination by state and local governments, and provides standards for privately owned businesses and commercial facilities. Join industry experts to explore how destinations can proactively create and embrace accessibility and inclusion by engaging community stakeholders, communicating accessibility-specific information to visitors and meeting planners and recruiting/cultivating ambassadors who can share content to assist visitors with disabilities.

Presented by: Tripadvisor
Emily Cassell headshot Emily Cassell
Arlington Convention & Visitors Service
Alison Brooks headshot Alison Brooks
Director of Group Services & Special Projects
Visit Mesa
Jake Steinman headshot Jake Steinman
President & CEO
Nicole King-Smith headshot Nicole King-Smith, Ph.D., CHT, CGSP
Hospitality Training Director
Lee County CVB
Take Carra Wellness Break
2:30 PM - 2:45 PM ET
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Take a few moments to stretch and watch a wellness video provided by our friends at SearchWide Global.

Presented by: SearchWide Global
Shirtsleeves Discussions & Live Report Out
2:45 PM - 3:50 PM ET
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Convene virtually in a Zoom room to for a facilitated discussion of pressing visitor services issues. Following the Zoom discussions, we will join together for a moderated report-out of key shirtsleeves takeaways live from the main stage.

Presented by: Miles Partnership
A Conversation with Joanne Molinaro
4:05 PM - 4:45 PM ET
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Joanne began her blog in 2016 as a personal motivational tool to "veganize" her favorite Korean recipes in an attempt to maintain a connection to her family and culture. The following year, Molinaro expanded the objective of her social media platforms to add a more urgent component: sharing the immigrant story.

Join us at this year's summit for a conversation about Joanne's incredible story about how she utilizes her platforms to provide insight into the immigrant experience in the United States, with the hope of developing empathy and compassion, and to begin an ongoing dialogue rooted in civility and a common denominator: the love of food.

Presented by: Simpleview
Joanne Molinaro headshot Joanne Molinaro
"The Korean Vegan"
Attorney, Chef, Blogger & Influencer
2021 Recordings

Registered attendees now have access to the session recordings from the July 2021 virtual summit. Please use your Destinations International member login to access the recordings.

Join the Online Community

The Online Community connects professionals from across the industry. Find users from your region or join a discussion group to discuss critical Visitor Services issues.
Access to the Online Community is an exclusive benefit to all staff from member organizations of Destinations International. Use your member login to access the discussions, or contact us if you need assistance.