Bi-weekly Update: June 16, 2017

New PDM Program designed with GWU - 2017 Hall of Fame Inductees - VISIT FLORIDA update - Vancouver becomes 100th destination to complete DNEXT assessment - Foundation studies

Greetings from Washington D.C., our Nation’s Capital.

Needless to say, this has been a difficult and challenging week for our country and for some of our elected leaders here in Washington D.C. The bravery shown by Capitol Police special agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey, who were at the field, kept this from being a far greater national tragedy. Our prayers go out for everyone's quick recovery. 

Also, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with our friends in the UK after the terrorist acts in Manchester and London. The fire in London earlier this week added to their loss. Our hearts go out to them.


Last week, we announced an exciting new partnership with George Washington University to deliver a reimagined, cutting-edge and global Professional in Destination Management (PDM) program for today’s destination management professionals.

The program is the result of the Association’s 2017 Business Plan released earlier this year and it aligns with the four key pillars of our new brand – Community, Advocacy, Research and Education. It is designed to prepare entry to mid-level professionals with the skills and knowledge critical to successful destination management and marketing.

The comprehensive educational program includes seven core courses – three conducted in a classroom setting and four available online. The Fundamentals course will launch the program during DMAI’s Annual Convention on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Registration is now open. Thanks to Colleen Phalen, Executive Vice President, Program Development and Meetings, for her leadership in securing this partnership. Thanks to Gary Sherwin, CDME, Maura Gast, FCDME and Barry White, CDME for all their hard work towards our new educational strategy.


This week we announced the 10 travel industry leaders who will be inducted into the DMAI Hall of Fame. The award was created in 2014 to honor individuals who have changed the future of destination marketing for the better, made significant contributions to the advancement of the industry and shaped travel marketing. This list includes:

  • Charles Ahlers, Former President, Anaheim/Orange Co. Visitor & Convention Bureau
  • Rick Antonson, Former President & CEO, Tourism Vancouver
  • Robert Cumings, Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Charles Gillett*, Former President & CEO, New York Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • John Marks, Former President & CEO, San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Tom Muldoon, Former President, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Dave Radcliffe, Former President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Spurgeon Richardson, Former President & CEO, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Charlotte St. Martin, Former Executive Vice President of Operations and Marketing of Loews Hotel
  • Chester “Chet” Wilkins*, Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau


Thanks to the Hall of Fame nominating committee, led by Bob Lander with great support by Wayne C. Chappell, for their continued commitment to this important program. We look forward to celebrating the contributions of these individuals on Wednesday, July 12 during the afternoon general session at the Annual Convention.


We have good news from Florida. With the leadership of Florida Governor Rick Scott, the Legislature and the many supporters, HB 1A passed last week, supporting 1.4 million Floridians who work in the tourism industry. VISIT FLORIDA is now fully funded and can continue marketing the state.

Thanks to William Talbert, CDME, President & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, for his leadership on this issue while he served as the Chair of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors.


Registration for the Visitor Services Summit is now open. The Summit will take place September 24 - 26 in Columbus, Ohio and will offer professionals vested in the planning, development, and management of visitor experiences within their destinations an opportunity to exchange ideas, learn new practices and connect with fellow visitor services professionals. Register here. 


Our friends at U.S. Travel Association recently released the Meetings Mean Business International Survey. The tool is used to understand what is happening in the industry and to assess the impact of recent events and policy changes. Please take a moment to fill out the survey. The responses will inform the Meetings Mean Business advocacy efforts to communicate concrete, meaningful information to U.S. political leaders.


The current application cycle for organizations to submit DMAP documents is now closed and the DMAP Board of Directors has started their review. DMAI’s globally recognized accreditation program serves as a visible industry distinction that defines quality and performance standards in destination marketing and management. Achieving DMAP accreditation positions a destination organization as a valued and respected organization in the community and increases credibility among stakeholders. Final assessments and awards will be presented at the Annual Convention in Montreal. Thanks to Virginia Haley, President of Visit Sarasota County and DMAP Chair and the board for their service. To learn more about DMAP, contact Brian London, DMAP Program Manager, at [email protected].


We have exciting news about DestinationNEXT. Next Wednesday, Paul Ouimet, Managing Director of DestinationNEXT, will be presenting at the Tourism Vancouver Annual General Meeting. This will mark the 100th destination which has completed a detailed assessment during the last 16 months! The following day Paul will meet with  NYC & Company to finalize plans for an extensive assessment of New York. Work has also begun on a national assessment for Switzerland. 


The Destination & Travel Foundation has been very busy the past six months. In addition to its work in the governance area and the Spirit of Hospitality event, several new research reports funded by the Foundation are nearing completion and will be released next month at the Annual Convention. Upcoming studies include:

  • Measuring the Effect of the Weaponization of Travel is a new research study conducted by APCO. It will be released on July 12 and is a joint effort by the Foundation and the PCMA Foundation. It explores whether travel boycotts and bans work to effect political change, what is the long-term damage to a destination’s brand, what is the life cycle of a boycott and are there alternatives.
  • Being released on July 11 is the DestinationFirst Business Models Study from TEAM Tourism Consulting, an international team of 40 destination consultants. The Foundation-funded report will create a knowledge bank of destination organization structures and models across the globe. This research will be used as the foundation for the soon to be released DestinationFIRST tool.
  • Debuting on July 13 is the update to the landmark 2014 DestinationNEXT Futures Study. Since launching the groundbreaking DNEXT initiative, the Foundation-funded report has been shared with industry leaders around the world, and more than 300 destinations from 18 counties have utilized DNEXT to strategically assess their destinations. In 2017, we are updating the report with information from over 400 destination organization experts representing 50 countries covering every continent.  This new report will identify the trends and opportunities that will shape the future of destination marketing and management.
  • The Foundation is in beta testing mode for the annual cornerstone reports – The 2017 Compensation & Benefits Study and The 2017 Organizational & Financial Profile Study.
  • The 2017 Group Sales Channel Impact Study is coming this fall.

The Foundation has also funded key speakers to provide valuable education content at our meetings. Earlier this year at the CEO Summit, the Foundation underwrote James Gilmore, co-author of The Experience Economy and Peter Greenberg, America’s most respected front-line travel news journalist. At the recent CMO Summit, the Foundation provided the funds to secure Jay Baer, the world's most retweeted person among digital marketers and Luis Benetiz, one of the more experienced, respected and busiest professional guides and leadership development consultants in the world.

For Annual Convention, the Foundation has made it possible for attendees to hear from Evita Turquoise Robinson (Evie) who has created the Nomadness Travel Tribe; Willie Geist, host of NBC News’ Sunday TODAY with With Willie Geist and co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and Chris Gardner, entrepreneur and best-selling author.

Finally, the Foundation, working with partners SearchWide, IMEX and USAE, is funding the new and improved 30 Under 30 Program. Investing in the future generation of destination experts, 30 individuals under the age of 30, have been selected to gain valuable industry networking opportunities and thought leadership throughout the year starting with attendance at the Annual Convention.


Members of our team had the opportunity to attend PCMA's Educational Conference in NYC this week. Congratulations to Fred Dixon, and his team at NYC & Company. They showcased the city with an opening event at Rockefeller Center, a closing event at Central Park Zoo and numerous field trip and educational sessions. Congratulations to Cleveland for landing the Educational Conference in 2018! Thanks to PCMA's President and CEO Deborah Sexton and her team for their support of DMAI. 


The countdown for Annual Convention continues with just over three weeks until we see many of you in Montreal! It’s not too late to register.

Thanks to our friends at Searchwide, you can take “Carra” yourself at Annual Convention with the Take Carra wellness program that includes health screenings, yoga and a 5K. All details are available here.

Join Expedia Media Solutions for their Insights Forum on the Intersection of Travel, Technology & Marketing on Tuesday, July 11, from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. The team will be sharing the results from their new custom research that examines online behaviors and trends of travelers around the world, across devices and throughout the consumer journey. Register here.

There are only a few spots available for the Old Montreal Culinary Walking Tour on July 11 which benefits the Destination & Travel Foundation. Attendees will taste their way through the city while discovering historical facts.

It’s not too late to sign up for DMAI’s Annual Golf Classic. Golfers can team up with colleagues for an early tee time on July 11.


Congratulations to our friends and staunch supporters, Simpleview and Cvent on their newly established partnership to deliver an integrated solution for destination organizations. The partnership between the Simpleview Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform and the Cvent Hospitality Cloud will streamline the request for proposal (RFP) process for DMOs, planners, and suppliers. You may learn more here.  


Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins, this year's Stanley Cup champions and the Golden State Warriors on their victory in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.


As you have seen from our past newsletters, we have had the privilege of visiting many of our members from around the world since March 2016. To connect with a member in their city or country is a very special privilege for the team and we greatly appreciate the opportunity to visit, meet and discuss your business and how we can be of greater service. The trips have been fun, productive and enlightening – thank you.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit a new destination that I haven’t had the chance to visit before – Bermuda. I want to thank CEO Kevin Dallas, Victoria Isley and the Bermuda Tourism Authority for welcoming me as their guest for the 35th America’s Cup. In addition to seeing the exciting races between New Zealand and Sweden, we had the opportunity to see the island from both water and land. Bermuda is a beautiful island destination with many offerings. We look forward to visiting Bermuda again with our CEO Summit, taking place April 2018.


Last but not least, I want to take the opportunity to say thanks and good luck to our trusted and valued colleague, Christine “Shimo” Shimasaki, CDME, CMP. Shimo made the decision to transition from her daily responsibilities at DMAI to a full-time consultant role effective July 1.  I know that this was not an easy decision for Shimo and she thought deeply about this next chapter of her business career. Shimo will continue to stay involved with us on key sales and product initiatives for the remainder of 2017 and most likely 2018. She will also be with us in Montreal. I know I speak on behalf of the Board of Directors and many of us in thanking Shimo for her commitment and dedication to DMAI over the years. To many in our industry, Shimo is synonymous with the DMAI brand worldwide and we wish her all the best. Thanks to Alison Best, DMAI’s Executive Vice President, Member Engagement, for her leadership during this transition.

Thank you and best wishes for a safe and enjoyable weekend!