Bi-weekly Update: August 11, 2017

Exciting Fall Education Events - Volunteer your data for the Group Sales Channel Impact Study - U.S. legislation update - DMAP Fall Application window now open - See you at ASAE!

Greetings from Washington, D.C.

Let me begin by congratulating our friend Brad Mayne, President and CEO of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) on a highly successful convention in Nashville this week. Nearly 700 convention center, stadium and event center leaders attended IAVM’s VenueConnect Annual Conference and Trade Show.

We have been working with Brad and his team over the last year to partner on collaborative economic impact reporting practices to serve our CVBs, building operators and our joint customers. We have developed some exciting next steps together. This taskforce continues to be led by Christine "Shimo" Shimasaki with 2synergize. More information will be coming soon.

Many of us will be departing this weekend for the ASAE Annual Meeting and Exposition in Toronto, Canada. On behalf of the entire Destinations International team, we wish John Graham and his team all the best and know Toronto will be a fantastic host city. Alison Best will be available at ASAE for any questions regarding the Canadian Event Impact Calculator (EIC). Best of luck to all our members participating in one of the largest and most important gatherings of the Association community calendar.


We are getting ready for our busiest time of year with our fall Summits. We encourage you and your teams to attend for peer-to-peer networking and learning opportunities to further support your goals and objectives for your destination. Here is a glimpse into our upcoming offerings:

  • Visitor Services Summit, September 24 – 27, Columbus, Ohio (Click here to register.)
  • Finance, Operations and Technology Summit, October 16 – 19, Orlando, FL (Click here to register.)
  • Membership Summit, October 23 – 26, Charlotte, NC (Click here to register.)
  • Advocacy Summit, October 25 – 26, Baltimore, MD (Registration will open in early September 2017.) *New
  • PDM Fundamentals, November 6, 2017, Baton Rouge, LA (Click here to register.) *New
  • Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME), Baton Rouge, LA, November 5 – 8, 2017 (Active CDME participants can log in and register here.)
  • Sales Academy 2: November 7, Baton Rouge, LA (Click here to register.)
  • Sales Academy 1: November 8, Baton Rouge, LA (Click here to register.)
  • Convention Sales & Marketing Summit, December 13, 2017, Chicago, IL (Registration will open in early September 2017.)
  • Convention Services Summit, December 13, 2017, Chicago IL (Registration will open in early September 2017.) *New

For more information about Destinations International and  our events, visit


Thank you to those who completed the Annual Convention Survey. We look forward to incorporating your feedback and comments to make 2018 a success in Anaheim, California. Out of those surveyed, 93 percent rated the event as a positive experience and a significant number plan to attend the upcoming fall Summits. We will continue to solicit your feedback for all of our events, including our Summits and the Annual Convention to ensure they are worthy of your time and financial commitment.

Those who were not able to join us for the Annual Convention were provided with the opportunity to watch our first ever News Desk. The live streaming broadcast included interviews with session speakers, Destinations International executive staff and partners. The “On Demand” version is now available. Click here to hear from travel and tourism leaders.


For those that serve the group sales market, the Destinations International Foundation is updating the Group Sales Channel Impact Study for 2017 and needs your help. The study quantifies the destination organization group sales channel, which is important for internal industry knowledge and essential for our external communications. If you received a survey in your email inbox, please respond by August 16 at 5 p.m. EST. Your participation is crucial to accurately articulating and understanding this channel's value. If you have questions, please reach out to Andreas Weissenborn, Director of Research and Analytics, at [email protected].


You may be aware that a partisan policy group in Michigan has targeted Travel Michigan’s budget over the past several years. Late last year they produced a highly questionable document that suggested state tourism marketing is a waste of taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, this has gained some circulation in other parts of the country in challenges to destination marketing budgets. Given the potential for this to be used to argue against destination marketing across the country, Adam Sacks and our friends at Tourism Economics decided to commission a well-known professor at University of Pennsylvania to review the document and the methodology behind it. In addition, Adam wrote a review on why the study is severely flawed. You can find both reviews here.  

Missouri is the latest state to find itself in the political crosshairs. Missouri Governor Eric Greitens announced he is withholding $10 million from Missouri’s tourism funding. This is 50 percent of the state’s tourism budget. Citing unexpectedly low tax receipts from 2016 and rising healthcare costs, Greitens announced $251 million in restrictions to help balance the state budget. The $10 million restriction is part of this. This approach ignores the fact that Tourism employs over 300,000 people in Missouri and produces much more in tax revenues than it costs. 

The Texas special legislative session continues. However, the House author of the so-called Bathroom Bill, Republican Ron Simmons all but gave up Thursday on it, saying that without some behind-the-scenes negotiations among top leaders — which he thought was unlikely — there’s no chance of passing it. Since the possibility of the bill returning still exists, we will continue watching this situation and supporting our members in Texas. 

We will continue to partner and support the nationwide efforts of U.S. Travel and other industry organizations who are aggressively addressing these unwarranted, irresponsible reductions in funding and other politically motivated attacks to our industries.


Registration is still open for the European Cities Marketing (ECM) Summer School which takes place August 26-30 in Dresden, Germany. This is a wonderful educational opportunity for a junior to mid-level team member to build a solid understanding of the meetings industry while also connecting with Europe’s leading destination organizations. Attendees receive credit towards their CMP accreditation. Click here for more information and to register. Congratulations to the five scholarship winners who will be attending ECM Summer School:

  • Jessie Chu, Destination DC
  • Sophia Valdivia, CTA, Visit Huntington Beach
  • Arie Bobbitt, Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Marie Catherine Lacoste, Tourisme Montréal
  • Jennifer Labrosse, Tourisme Montréal


We are grateful for the leadership of Destinations International’s committees and taskforces. We’d like to give a special thanks to the following committee and taskforce volunteers:

  • Convention Sales and Marketing Committee – Cleo Battle, Visit Louisville
  • Small DMO Taskforce (new committee) – Melyssa Laughlin, Visit Vacaville
  • Complete and Accurate Data Subcommittee – Brad Kent, Visit Dallas
  • Attendance Promotion Taskforce – Loren Gold, Visit Raleigh
  • Sales Academy Development Taskforce – Melissa Riley, Destination DC and Rachel Benedick, Visit Denver


The application cycle for DMAP Accreditation is now open. Approved organizations report that having achieved Accreditation was a signal to stakeholders that the organization aims to increase the professionalism of the destination organization. The application deadline is September 29, 2017. You may begin your application or check your renewal status here. For questions or to confirm eligibility, please reach out to Brian London, Accreditation Program Manager at [email protected] or (850) 559-0012.


As we mentioned in our last newsletter, our team will continue to share healthy tips and ways to stay active in support of the “Take Carra Yourself” health and wellness program. As we move into the busy fall travel season, don’t forget to move and exercise while on the plane. Most of the airlines have some simple but effective tips in their inflight magazines to stay healthy when flying.

As we head into the weekend, we wish everyone safe travels and look forward to seeing many of you in Toronto at ASAE.