Bi-weekly Update: July 14, 2017

DMAI is now Destinations International - Annual Convention Wrap Up - JBF Partnership - New Canadian Initiatives - Thank you, Gary Sherwin

Bonjour and Happy Friday,

It is my pleasure to send this newsletter under the official name of Destinations International.

I am writing to you today from the great city of Montreal, where over 1,450 of our industry peers gathered for the 103rd Annual Convention. It was certainly an exciting week for us as we officially introduced a new brand and website. Thanks again to the Miles Partnership team and Melissa Cherry, our Chief Marketing Officer, for the hard work, planning and research invested into these two highly important projects.

This year we had 77 sessions, more than 100 exhibitors and an action-packed exhibit floor.

Willie Geist, Evita Robinson, Chris Gardner and Richard St-Pierre shared their thoughts and perspectives on business and the important work that our members do in their communities.

Thank you to Yves Lalumière and his team at Tourisme Montreal and Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montreal for their hospitality. I know everyone had a fantastic time exploring Montreal, especially with the opportunity to participate in the 375th anniversary celebrations featuring  arts, culture, music and of course, a fantastic culinary scene. I believe I speak for many when I say that we leave this city inspired, educated and enriched. Thanks again to our many sponsors and partners who support our organization.

We shared several key announcements, including the results from the DestinationNEXT and the Defining the Impact of the Weaponization of Travel studies. Both reports are complimentary and can be downloaded from our website,

As you all know this has been a highly progressive year for our Association. Thanks to the support and leadership of Gary Sherwin, CDME, President & CEO, Newport Beach & Company and Joseph Marinelli, President, Visit Savannah for their vision and guidance. 

Congratulations to Tammy Blount, FCDME, President and CEO of the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCCVB) on her new role as Chair of Destinations International, and Stephanie Pace Brown, Executive Director of Explore Asheville, on her new role as Chair of the Destinations International Foundation. We look forward to working with you!

Those that attended Annual Convention had the privilege of hearing from Richard St-Pierre, CEO of C2, on shifting perspectives and exploring completely new ways of doing business. C2 Montreal is extending an invite and preferred rate to all Annual Convention attendees to C2 Montreal 2018, an event that brings together visionaries and forward-thinkers from around the world to explore the relationship between commerce and creativity, and its potential to redefine business. If you would like to register, please use the promo code C2LOVESDMAI, to receive a discounted three-day total experience pass.

We also announced several exciting initiatives. We are thrilled to begin our partnership with the James Beard Foundation (JBF) which will focus on building relationships, value and engagement between JBF and key culinary destinations wishing to position themselves as gastronomic destinations to drive tourism. The alliance will first concentrate on destination engagement in support of JBF Taste America events, and Destinations International events and programs for both the Association and Foundation.

As the Association continues the momentum of expanding its international footprint, several Canadian engagement initiatives were announced. Destinations International entered into a strategic partnership with the Destination Marketing Association of Canada, allowing for the sharing of resources and collaboration on educational opportunities. Additionally, the Association will assist with the advocacy efforts throughout Canada. In partnership with Tourism Economics, the Canadian Model of the Event Impact Calculator (EIC) will be  available thanks to a grant from the Destinations International Foundation. Working collaboratively with Travel Alberta, the CDME program will be available beginning in 2018. Travel Alberta will offer two CDME sessions – one in the spring and one in the fall. Destinations International will also continue a dialogue with important industry partners, including: The Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Meetings Mean Business Canada and Destination Canada. Thanks to Alison Best, Executive Vice President, Member Engagement, for her leadership on these initiatives.

Thank you to everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to learn and celebrate our industry. Safe travels back home and we look forward to seeing everyone next year in sunny Anaheim, California July 10-13, 2018!