Bi-weekly Update: December 1, 2017

Greetings from Washington, D.C.

Let me begin with a reminder that today is the advanced registration deadline for discounted exhibit space at Destination Showcasewhich takes place February 13 in Washington, D.C. You may learn more and reserve your booth here. The dynamic one-day event offers CVB professionals the opportunity to meet with top planners in one location. Both planners and exhibitors will be able to fully participate in all activities within the networking exchange, concluding with an exciting and lively reception for the final hour of the event. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from culinary innovator José Andrés. Named “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation and recognized by TIME magazine on the “Time 100” list of most influential people in the world, José Andrés is an internationally recognized culinary innovator, passionate advocate for food and hunger issues, author, television personality and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup.

Andrés has nearly 30 restaurants across the U.S. but has barely set foot in them for two months. He and his army of chefs and volunteers have been serving the people of Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. You may watch more of the story told by 60 Minutes here.


Tickets for the Spirit of Hospitality Celebration are now available. The annual event will be held on February 12, 2018 at National Geographic’s Washington, D.C. headquarters at 7:00 p.m. Bringing together tourism industry leaders, the Spirit of Hospitality Celebration raises funds for the Destinations International Foundation to support education, research, advocacy and leadership development initiatives to empower destinations and the global travel industry. 

This year, we are ecstatic to honor National Geographic Traveler, recipient of the 2018 Spirit of Hospitality Award, the highest recognition presented annually to individuals and organizations that show exceptional dedication and commitment to the travel and tourism industry. 

General admission tickets may be purchased here. For those who wish to support the event or the Destinations International Foundation in a greater capacity, sponsorships with packaged admissions are also available. We hope you will join us for a night of inspiration to celebrate the power of destinations and travel.


We look forward to seeing many of you who will be attending this year’s Convention Sales and Marketing Summit on December 13, 2017, which takes place right before the Association Forum’s Holiday Showcase in Chicago, IL. This Summit will wrap up our educational events for 2017, which have all had record-breaking attendance. We have enjoyed seeing many of you throughout the year and we are looking forward to providing exciting educational events in 2018. We encourage you and your team to review the 2018 event dates and start making plans to attend. 

Thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers, we recently released the CVB Attendance Promotion Practices Handbook, which is a critical read for any CVB or destination organization that is vested in fueling the success of meetings and events. You may download the complimentary handbook here.


Thank you to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce for inviting Andreas Weissenborn, our Director of Research and Analytics, to speak to their constituents about tourism trends during their bimonthly Business Before Hours networking event.

Earlier this week, Jim McCaul participated in the 2017 UNWTO Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism, hosted in partnership with the World Bank Group and the Government of Jamaica. The conference brought together world leaders from the tourism industry along with governments, donors, international development and finance organizations to design and coordinate an international road map and foster collaborative relationships for inclusive economic and social development via tourism. On Thursday, Jim participated in a panel to discuss successful models of destination management, using insights from DestinationNEXT to shine a light on the critical role that destination organizations play in the development of communities. 


I just returned from a highly productive IBTM World in Barcelona, Spain where over 15,500 industry professionals gathered for three energizing days of business, networking and education.

We started out on Monday with a meeting with our friends and partners at the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) where we talked about their important work including The Iceberg project, which serves as a gateway to case studies, white papers and research with complimentary access to the world’s leading industry information, education and event resources. We are happy to be a founding partner of this initiative.

During the show, I had the opportunity to spend time with Paul Van Deventer and his team at Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Sherrif Karamat at Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Chris Ellis with Brand USA, Susan Robertson at American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Martin Sirk at International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), Karen Kotowski at Events Industry Council (EIC) and Flavie Baudot at European Cities Marketing (ECM). I was also able to see many of our partners and had the opportunity to spend time with Ignasi de Delàs, President at Tourisme de Barcelona who also serves as a Board member of ECM and Destinations International.

I had the chance to meet with tourism leaders from around the world to learn more about their destinations and explore opportunities with Destinations International. Thanks to Kerry Prince and Graeme Barnett from Reed Travel Exhibitions for their gracious hospitality and a successful show. Needless to say, Barcelona continues to set visitation records and was an outstanding host for this year’s program.

We look forward to seeing our Board and Partners at the upcoming Partner Summit and Board meetings in Savannah, Georgia, where Joe Marinelli and his team at Visit Savannah have gone above and beyond to help us plan a memorable experience in their city.

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable weekend.