Bi-weekly Update: March 24, 2017

Our New Name: Destinations International announced at CEO Summit - Annual Giving Campaign and the Apprenticeship Program - Annual Convention Registration Now Open - New DMAP Manager

Greetings and happy Friday,

Before I take some time to update you on a very productive CEO Summit in Nashville, I do want to take this opportunity to extend our condolences and best wishes to those affected by the senseless tragedy in London this week. Unfortunately, this was yet another example of the unexpected turmoil and challenges our industry seems to encounter on a more frequent basis. Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected.


Now, I would like to share a bit of positive news with regards to our industry. This week we welcomed more than 180 CEOs and industry leaders from around the world, in beautiful Nashville, TN for the 2017 CEO Summit. Thanks to our friend Butch Spyridon and his team, it was an exceptionally productive, enlightening and entertaining two days. We also had the opportunity to enjoy a luncheon at the magnificent Music City Center. Special thanks to Music City Center’s President and CEO Charles Starks for his gracious hospitality and a fantastic lunch.

Over the course of two days, we had the privilege to hear from several guest speakers, including Roger Dow, Peter Greenberg, and Jim Gilmore. On Wednesday morning, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry joined us for a breakfast conversation. During these turbulent times for our industry it was incredibly inspiring to hear from a mayor who has become such a champion for their destination. During the Q&A session, the Mayor stated: “Once I evaluated the results and the economic impact created by the industry and the jobs it represented, I became a huge supporter of the industry.” Mayor Barry also acknowledged the tremendous vision and commitment by Butch and his team. Thanks again to the many panelists and speakers who contributed to our program this week.

The 2018 CEO Summit will take place in Bermuda, April 23-25, 2018. Victoria Isley, former DMAI executive and now Bermuda Tourism Authority’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, presented a wonderful overview of what we can expect in 2018. We hope you will all join us!

On behalf of the CEO Summit Committee, Tammy Blount, Craig Davis and William Pate, thanks to all for joining us. We hope you enjoyed Nashville and our time together, and most importantly took away new insights and information.


One of the highlights during the CEO Summit was the introduction of our new name and brand, Destinations International.

Destination Marketing Association International will become Destinations International, and the Destination & Travel Foundation will become Destinations International Foundation effective July 2017 during our Annual Convention in Montreal. The eight-month rebrand review through a collaboration with Miles Partnership, included feedback gathered from stakeholder interviews and research, paired with extensive analysis of key operational facets of the Association.

We will share more as we work to implement the new brand in July 2017. Look for updates leading up to the Annual Convention.

A very special thank you to Chief Marketing Officer, Melissa Cherry and our partners at Miles Partnership -- David Burgess, Jay Salyers and Randi Rogers.


The Destination & Travel Foundation launched its Annual Giving Campaign this week. The success of the Foundation’s efforts reflects the spirit of camaraderie that makes this industry so unique. Donations to the Annual Giving campaign allow the Foundation to tackle the issues we all face on a daily basis. It’s simple: if we don’t do this as an industry, no one else will do it for us. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees is comprised of your colleagues, all of whom understand the demands placed on DMO budgets and CEOs each year. By converting to an annual request for investment in the Foundation, you no longer will have a multi-year pledge sitting on your books as a receivable. This also enables you to increase or decrease your annual investment level depending upon your marketplace.

The Foundation is set to confront some of the most pressing issues facing the DMO industry through relevant and timely research, advocacy resources, education and leadership development that we simply cannot do individually. The 2017 goal is to raise $1 million for the Foundation. We invite you to invest in the Destination & Travel Foundation Annual Giving campaign and help ensure the continuing growth of the global destination marketing industry. Thanks to the leadership of Jason Fulvi, Chair of the Annual Giving campaign, and Foundation Board members who raised over $400,000 at the CEO Summit this past week.

Two important programs supported by the Foundation include the Apprenticeship Program and “30 Under 30.” The 2017 Apprenticeship Program is a 600-hour program with the goal to help create a culturally and socially reflective tourism industry. Applications will be accepted through April 30, 2017 for a June start date. The “30 Under 30” program offers 30 young industry professionals under the age of 30 the opportunity to attend the 2017 Annual Convention in Montreal, and take part in expanded networking and professional development throughout the year. Applications will be accepted through April 14.

Through the Destination & Travel Foundation’s support of education programming at our summits, we would also like to acknowledge our very own Andreas Weissenborn, Director of Research and Analytics at DMAI, who facilitated a panel at STR headquarter offices in Nashville. This position is just another example of how your support of the Foundation is put to work.

On behalf of the team, Jason Fulvi, and the Destination & Travel Foundation Board of Trustees, thank you again for your continued support.


Registration for the 2017 Annual Convention in Montreal is now open! Thanks to the leadership and support of Yves Lalumière, President & CEO of Tourism Montreal and Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montreal, we are significantly ahead on our planning for this year’s exciting event. As the premier event for destination marketing and management professionals, DMAI's 2017 Annual Convention will provide a unique opportunity for professionals to connect with and learn from peers and thought leaders from inside and outside the industry.

All programming for the convention will be held at Palais des congres de Montreal, located at the north end of Old Montreal in Montreal's borough of Ville-Marie. In 2017, DMAI will continue the promise to educate, inspire and create. In addition to a great program, including five keynote and 32 concurrent sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to experience Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebration during this beautiful time of the year. Due to the busy summer season for Montreal, we encourage you to plan your travel, understand Border requirements, and learn what you need to know when you land in Canada. Register Now!


We would like to welcome Brian London as the new Program Manager for the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP). Filling this position was long overdue, but we think you will agree that finding and hiring Brian was worth the wait. Brian has a long history with the DMAP program working with several DMOs, including VISIT FLORIDA to become DMAP Accredited and developing a DMAI Accreditation Workbook. Brian’s background includes research work for VISIT FLORIDA and the St. Johns County (Florida) Tourist Development Council. Many of you may know Brian already through his own company, London Publications, or in his role as Executive Director of the Southeast States Chapter of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (SETTRA). Questions about the DMAP program can be directed to Brian at [email protected].

I would also like to thank Virginia Haley and the rest of the DMAP Board of Directors who have lived up to their reputation as one of the hardest working boards. Their overall commitment plus the many volunteer hours they have given the program to not only keep it up and running during this time of transition but make it even better has been unbelievable. They are a great example of the volunteer spirit that has made DMAI what it is today.


DMAI's 2017 CMO Summit provides a unique opportunity to learn not only how to structure a winning destination marketing team and what tools to invest in, but also the skills critical to lead your department in a digital, data-driven age. The CMO Summit room block for The Four Seasons Denver closes Wednesday, March 29. Be sure to reserve your room before the US$ 235.00 group rate expires. Many thanks to Richard Scharf, President and CEO and Justin Bresler, Vice President of Marketing at Visit Denver for hosting our summit this year.

Thanks again and enjoy your weekend!