Bi-weekly Update: June 30, 2017

See you in Montreal! - U.S. travel ban update and resources - Expanding our TTRA partnership and new Advocacy Summit

Greetings and Happy Friday from Washington, D.C.

We are only two weeks away from welcoming over 1,200 of our destination marketing industry peers to DMAI's 2017 Annual Convention in Montreal. Our team has secured extraordinary speakers and programming for this year’s meeting and we look forward to learning and celebrating many announcements with you. For those CVBs that have fiscal year budgets beginning July 1, it is time to register!

The Culinary Walking Tour is sold out but you can still support the Destination & Travel Foundation at DMAI’s Annual Golf Classic on July 11.

We are introducing many "firsts" for the Annual Convention, including special Forums before the Convention by Expedia and Civitas, a health and wellness program through Searchwide, and a wide range of education topics to ensure all professions in the destination marketing industry get inspired, empowered, and creative together.

Our Exhibit Hall has been totally redesigned to allow for maximum interaction and gathering for attendees and exhibitors.

Those who are not able to join us at Annual Convention this year can sign up to watch DMAI’s News Desk. New to the convention this year, the News Desk will be live from Montreal on Wednesday, July 12 with interviews with session speakers, DMAI executive staff and partners. Register for free.

We hope to see you in Montreal or online!


Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the Trump administration the go-ahead to begin enforcing part of the president's executive order restricting travel from six middle eastern countries. Here is a list of frequently asked questions put out by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Click here to see DMAI’s statement on this very important issue.

Also this week, DHS announced new aviation security measures for all U.S.-bound flights, which will require airlines and airports to increase screening of passengers and all electronic devices, as well as heighten security standards for aircraft and airports. Airlines that are in non-compliance will face restrictions that range from banning any electronic equipment to suspending flights. The mandate, which would affect 280 last-point-of-departure airports and as many as 2,000 daily flights to the United States, would be phased in by airlines over time. The current laptop ban (issued in March) for 10 airports will be lifted if they comply with the new directive mandated by DHS. Roger Dow and our friends at U.S. Travel issued this statement about the new measures.

Finally, California has issued a ban on state-funded and state-sponsored travel to four additional states that it says have laws discriminating against the LGBTQ community. The travel ban was first put into effect January 1 when state measure AB 1887 became law. Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee were the original states banned, but this week the U.S. states of Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas were added to the list. We continue to strongly believe that this approach of weaponizing travel, no matter how well intentioned, is counterproductive. It interferes with promoting understanding between countries, communities and people that comes from travel. For more on this be sure to check out the “Measuring the Effect of the Weaponization of Travel - New Study Release” session at the Annual Convention.


We are proud to announce an expanded partnership with the Travel and Tourism Research Association, a non-profit association whose purpose is to enhance the quality, value, effectiveness and use of research in travel marketing, planning and development. Two milestones include a co-location of DMAI’s Advocacy Summit (October 25 and 26) with the Travel and Tourism Research Association's Marketing Outlook Forum (October 23-25) in Baltimore and joint development of research curriculum.

Thanks to our Director of Research, Andreas Weissenborn, for his work on this project and the leadership over at Travel and Tourism Research Association, particularly Susan Bruinzeel and Jeffrey Eslinger.


Last week, leaders of the business events industry in Australia visited Canberra to engage with Federal Parliamentarians and senior departmental officials as part of the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) “Business Events Meets Parliament” program. According to a press release issued by the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux Inc, the “Business Events sector has been one of the quiet achievers of the Australian economy, generating around $30 billion in economic activity annually and creating 192,000 jobs. It is a mechanism whereby the services economy, including event organizers, hospitality and tourism providers and travel trade professionals can benefit from our trade agenda. A strong economy and an open market is critical for our future growth.” This is a perfect example where government leaders become further educated and understand the significant impact of meetings and conventions in their destinations.


Last week, Paul Ouimet and Alison Best were in Vancouver, Canada to facilitate a DestinationNEXT workshop with Ty Speer and the team at Tourism Vancouver. This marked the 100th DestinationNEXT workshop completed since the inception of the program in 2015! Earlier this year, we marked another major milestone with our 200th Event Impact Calculator (EIC) subscriber. Not slowing down, this week Paul Ouimet is in New Jersey doing three more DestinationNEXT workshops, the first half of a state-wide assessment. These successes have not come by chance. We’ve made it a priority of the Association to develop and execute product growth strategies for all destination products. Earlier this year, we created a new position within the organization, Vice President of Destination Product Management, which was filled by former Director of Communications Jim McCaul. We’re pleased to announce that for the first time ever, we will feature a Solutions Bar at the Annual Convention, where attendees can meet with our staff and learn more about the various tool and resources that DMAI has available to help your organizations succeed. For more information on DNEXT and EIC, contact Jim McCaul at [email protected]


Congratulations to Stephanie Nowack, President and CEO of the Tempe Tourism Office on her retirement after more than 18 years at the organization. We are thankful for your support over the years and we wish you the best in your retirement.

Congratulations to Paul Van Deventer and his team at MPI on a successful World Education Congress conference in Las Vegas. The foundation dinner honoring Ray Bloom with IMEX was a highlight and we enjoyed engaging with many of our members throughout the event. It was a great evening and well-deserved tribute to an industry icon.

Hats off to the Events Industry Council's 2017 Hall of Leaders Inductees and Pacesetter Award Winners. The Hall of Leaders Class of 2017 inductees include: David Peckinpaugh, CMP, Maritz Global Events; Patricia “Patti” Roscoe, CITE, Founder-Allied/PRA Destination Management; and Janet Sperstad, CMP, Madison College.

The 2017 Pacesetter Award recipients include: Dan Berger, Social Tables; Guy Bigwood, MCI Group; and Mac Campbell, Baltimore Convention Center. The very deserving list will be recognized at the 2017 Hall of Leaders and Pacesetter Awards Gala on October 10, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Many of you may have also noticed over the past year or so that Bill Geist and our friends at DMOproZ/ Zeitgeist Consulting continue to do a great job of tracking movers and shakers in our industry. Thanks to Bill Geist and Terri White for reporting on these important updates within our industry!


I would like to end this week’s note with some exciting news. As many of us are preparing for the long Independence Day weekend here in the U.S., it is my pleasure to share that Chelsea Dunlop Welter, my incredibly talented and dedicated assistant, gave birth on Tuesday of this week to a baby girl, Rae Marie Welter. All of us are thrilled for Chelsea, her husband, Chris, and our newest honorary team member, Rae Marie!

Have a happy, safe and enjoyable weekend.