Bi-weekly Update: July 28, 2017

Recap video of Annual Convention - Fall Summits - New Research: Weaponization of Travel, DestinationNEXT Futures Study - Texas Legislation Update

Greetings and Happy Friday,

It’s hard to believe that it has been two weeks since our Annual Convention wrapped up in Montreal. If you have not yet had a chance to view, please enjoy this brief recap video of a great week spent with colleagues. 

Thanks again to all our sponsors and partners who made this year’s program successful and to Yves Lalumière at Tourisme Montreal and Raymond Larivée with the Palais des congrès de Montreal for being such gracious hosts.

Thank you to those who completed the Annual Convention survey with your thoughts and assessments of this year’s program and recommendations for the future. We know attending a convention is a financial commitment to you and your organization and we want to continue to maximize those investments. We look forward to seeing all of you in Anaheim, CA July 10-13, 2018!


Our team enjoyed a brief hiatus last week; however, we are into full planning mode for the remaining 2017 Summits. We understand the importance of roundtable sessions and peer-to-peer networking and encourage you and your team to register. 


Coming out of the Annual Convention, Destinations International’s priority of meeting our members' needs is more focused than ever. With hundreds of convention sales and convention services professionals among our membership, the Convention Sales and Marketing Committee is focused on making sure they have the tools, products and insights from customers that they need to succeed. The Committee, led by Alison Best, will work towards the following priorities: the renewal of a large destination organization roundtable, a Customer Advisory Board and re-imagined sales training. Between now and December, the Committee and staff will be working to map out the scope of work for the year ahead.

Exciting changes are coming to MINT+. An Event Room Demand Analyzer is currently undergoing beta testing, a new handbook to assist with attendance promotion practices will be added to the toolbox, and a new focus on amplifying the value proposition of destination organizations to planners will be unveiled. Thanks to Cleo Battle, CDME, EVP, Louisville CVB, for the leadership as Committee Chair and to all the sales professionals who serve on the many taskforces! 


During our Annual Convention in Montreal, we released two critical pieces of research to help the industry prepare for the road ahead. The Weaponization of Travel Study explores the impact of boycotts on the travel and tourism industry and the DestinationNEXT Study dives deep into research that will help guide destination marketing leaders as they re-engineer their organizations for future success. I encourage you to take a deep dive into both complimentary reports and harness the intelligence to position your organization for future success. 


Unfortunately, the weaponization of our industry continues to take place. In Texas, proposals to bar transgender men, women and children from restrooms that do not match their biological sex are back under consideration during the legislative special session. Efforts to pass such restrictions failed in May; however, lawmakers are now considering proposals that would affect bathrooms overseen by both school districts and local governments.

Deborah Sexton and our friends at PCMA are working to persuade Texas Governor, Greg Abbott to veto such legislation by urging the meetings industry to draft letters of dissent and upload them here. We encourage you to join Destinations International in sending a letter. Please include statistics on the industry's impact measured in PCMA's Economic Impact Study:

  • Our industry holds 1.83 million meetings every year in the United States.
  • Those meetings generate $28 billion in U.S. federal, state and local taxes annually.
  • More than $280 billion in annual U.S. direct spending is spurred by our industry.


Congratulations to our industry peers whom have been inducted into the Leaders Under 40 Awards Class of 2017, a highly prestigious recognition. We would like to give a special shout out to our friend, Kara Bachman, Executive Director of the Chicago Sports Commission, on being named to this year’s class!

Congratulations to Tammy Blount, FCDME, and her team at the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau for being honored last night with the 2017 Business Associations Award from the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.


Last but not least, I want to share with you that we will continue to promote the Take Carra Yourself initiative. In our upcoming newsletters, we will provide tips on healthy living, stress management and ways to take care of yourself while traveling and while at your office. I am sure that you will agree that nothing replaces good health. As we move into the weekend, we would like to share a recipe for a Kale Berry Smoothie that our friends at Searchwide provided during the Annual Convention. Click here to download the recipe. You can also make a contribution to help keep the Take Carra program going at future Destinations International conventions.

Best wishes for an enjoyable weekend.