Bi-weekly Update: May 5, 2017

200th Destination to Adopt the EIC - Event Impact City Pairs - "Weaponization of Travel" Updates in Illinois, Florida, Texas - Airbnb, Northstar, and more Partner News

Greetings and Happy Friday,

I would like to start with some exciting news this week, as our industry prepares for National Travel and Tourism Week. We are pleased to share that the DMAI team achieved a considerable milestone earlier this week with regards to the Event Impact Calculator (EIC). On behalf of our entire team, I would like to acknowledge and congratulate Joel Racker and his team at the Utah Valley CVB on becoming the 200th destination organization to subscribe to the EIC!

Thanks to our partner Adam Sacks and Tourism Economics the EIC provides each of its 200 organizational subscribers with a model tailored to their respective destination. The EIC is a resource to inform destination policy and strategy, including event-driven spending, employment, personal income, taxes, and ROI. Shimo and her team have worked passionately and strategically to grow this very important resource for our members – thank you to Shimo and Elaine Rosquist!

The EIC originally launched in 2011 with the Meetings & Events module. Since this time, it has expanded to include Sports (2013) and Festivals (2016), and has become an industry standard tool even beyond the U.S. Over 100,000 events have been analyzed using the EIC since its launch. Global growth of the EIC has extended into Bermuda, Canada, Poland, South Africa and Switzerland. Significant updates implemented last quarter include:

  • Updated per diem attendee spending by event type and size of city 
  • Updated destination-level data on costs by sector 
  • New and expanded data on event organizer and exhibitor spending 
  • Additional meeting segment analysis for SMERF, Government, and Corporate/Association events

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of the EIC, please contact Elaine Rosquist, CMP at [email protected]. Please join us for our next live demo on June 6 at 2:00pm EDT. You may register here.


The last couple of weeks have been packed with important and impactful industry engagements, and on behalf of the entire DMAI team, it was a privilege to be included.

First, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and congratulate our friends in Philadelphia for hosting an incredibly successful NFL Draft! Preliminary data indicate last week was one of the best weeks ever for Philadelphia's hotel and hospitality community. The NFL reported that 250,000 fans attended the three-day event, and according to the NFL Network, it was the most-viewed draft in history.

Thank you to Jack Berry and the Richmond Region Tourism team for inviting me to join their National Travel and Tourism Week celebration earlier this week. During our presentation, Jack used great information gathered from the EIC to showcase the meetings impact for Richmond. Congratulations on the incredible impact the team continues to deliver for Virginia’s tourism industry!

Shimo and Brad Mayne hosted a highly productive EIC City Pairs session in Denver with seven of our eight partners. The objective of this taskforce is to explore and develop best practices for how destination organizations and convention centers can collaborate on consistent economic impact reporting for events using DMAI’s Event Impact Calculator.

Special thanks to Chicago’s David Causton, Regional Vice President of SMG’s Convention Center Division and David Czechowski, Research Analyst with Choose Chicago for joining us!

Congratulations to Milton Segarra, President and CEO of Meet Puerto Rico and his team on hosting a successful and enlightening forum at the National Press Club earlier this week. Jack Speer, NPR newscaster and award-winning journalist, moderated a panel discussion focused on the challenges and disruptors facing our industry today. I was honored to be a panelist along with Milton, Tammy Blount, John Graham and CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg.

Thanks to the George Washington Tourism Alumni Network Association (GWTAN) I was honored to join a panel along with my good friend Elliott Ferguson to discuss “Leadership & Governance in Tourism: Defining Success for a Sustainable Future.” This is a particularly timely subject as Elliot and his team prepare to host IPW in June!

The convention sales taskforce, chaired by Casandra Matej of San Antonio met this week in Washington, D.C. to review and discuss DMAI’s educational support and training we provide to more than 4,000 destination organization sales representatives. As DMAI continues to evaluate its products and services, you can expect to hear more about changes to our sales academies, sales products and convention services tracks. Thanks to Cleo Battle, Loren Gold and Jason Fulvi for their commitment to this taskforce.

Thank you to the 70 destination organization chief marketing officers that attended our annual CMO Summit in Denver – it was a great success! The two-day meeting featured guest speakers, shirt-sleeve sessions, and most importantly, lessons in how selling cities and states can be applied to anyone trying to drive interest and awareness around an experience. Thanks to Richard Scharf and Justin Bresler for hosting this important annual meeting, and thanks to DMAI’s own Colleen Phalen for leading the planning and execution!


While many member destination organizations prepare to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, our industry continues to face challenges. The “weaponization of travel” is the latest disruptor to our industry. Over the past few weeks, we have been sharing updates on several destinations’ challenges. Below is the latest update on Illinois, Florida and Texas:

ILLINOIS: Lawmakers are now in the final month of their scheduled spring legislative session which is when they normally turn to the task of crafting the state’s yearly budget. However, Illinois has been without a complete spending plan since July 2015 and has instead operated under a collection of short-term, stopgap funding plans, including a six-month budget that expired in January. The Legislature and Governor are at odds over unrelated "business reforms" the Governor is demanding in exchange for agreeing to a budget. There has been some hope that a broader budget proposal known as the “grand bargain" could be crafted, but that plan has remained stalled. This inaction threatens the financial support for over 40 destination organizations across the state, as well as the state's office of tourism.

FLORIDA: Earlier this week, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron separately told their members that they had reached a deal on a new $83 billion Florida state budget. As a result, Visit Florida will be cut by $50 million. The budget is expected to be published today. While Governor Rick Scott has appealed tirelessly to lawmakers to fund Visit Florida at $100 million, it appears those pleas have been ignored. He is urging Florida residents to call their House and Senate members.

TEXAS: With less than one month to go before the Texas Legislature adjourns, proposals on many key issues are sitting idle including the controversial “bathroom bill.” The Legislature’s top task — passing the state budget — also remains unresolved, with the House and Senate at odds over how to pay for the versions of the state’s spending blueprint.


We were pleased to learn that the litigation between Airbnb and the city of San Francisco was settled earlier this week. As a result, Airbnb hosts who fail to register with the city will be removed by Airbnb from its platform. Additionally, all new hosts are required to obtain a city-issued registration number before they can sign up to rent out their home. Airbnb will also create a new on-boarding system scheduled to launch in 2018, in which its hosts will have the ability to register with San Francisco directly on Airbnb’s platform—eliminating the need for hosts to fill out additional paperwork. Thanks to Joe D’Alessandro at San Francisco Travel and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee who led this very important industry initiative. We had the chance to visit with Joe and Mayor Lee in DC yesterday.


We are less than 10 weeks away from the 2017 Annual Convention, the launching pad for an exciting future. As you coordinate your travel, we hope that you will join us at one or both of our two important fundraising events, whose proceeds will drive year-round support for key Destination & Travel Foundation initiatives.

On Tuesday, July 11 team up with colleagues and friends at the Annual Golf Classic at Golf des Iles. Beat the summer heat with an early morning tee time, followed by a luncheon and an auction from which all proceeds will benefit the Foundation. Foodies and history buffs also have an opportunity to support the Foundation with a Culinary Walking Tour66 through old Montreal. The four-hour tasting tour includes stops at historic public squares and significant cultural institutions.

In 2014, DMAI launched the groundbreaking DestinationNEXT (DNEXT) initiative. Since that time, the research report has been shared with industry leaders around the world, and more than 300 destinations from 18 countries have utilized DNEXT to strategically assess their destinations. Thanks to a generous grant from the Destination & Travel Foundation, DMAI is now in the process of updating the 2014 Futures Study. DNEXT provides a road map to the future for DMO leaders and their stakeholders in this environment. I encourage you to join destinations from around the world to provide critical input to this new study. You may provide your feedback here. We will unveil the results of the study at the Annual Convention. If you have any questions on the study or DestinationNEXT, please contact Jim McCaul at [email protected].


IMPORTANT DEADLINES -- We are excited to share that several new and popular initiatives are underway and we would like to remind you of the upcoming deadlines.

Hall of Fame submissions are due Monday, May 8. We encourage you to submit one or several nominations for an industry representative whom you believe demonstrates a significant and long-term contribution through their leadership, innovation and creativity. Please send along names of candidates along with a brief statement as to why the nominee deserves such designation in an email to Andrew Schall at [email protected]. Hall of Fame inductees will be announced during the 2017 Annual Convention.

DMAI and Destination & Travel Foundation Board member submissions are due Monday, May 15. Please contact Andrew Schall at [email protected] to express your interest, nominate a peer or request further details.

Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) applications are due Friday, May 26. To submit an application, please visit DMAI's Accreditation Management Site. If you would like more information about DMAP eligibility requirements, contact Brian London at [email protected].


IAEE’s 4th annual Exhibitions Day will take place June 6-7 in Washington, D.C. Industry members, including DMAI, will come together to foster relationships and build awareness with federal legislators and other policy influencers on Capitol Hill. Last year, more than 100 of our industry members gathered to advocate for exhibitions and events. For our U.S. colleagues, we ask you to once again join us as we meet face-to-face with our nation’s political leaders and give a voice to the exhibitions and events industry. Register today for Exhibitions Day 2017!


Thanks to Tim Schneider and the Northstar Travel Group for their continued commitment to DMAI, and congratulations on the recent acquisition of the TEAMS Conference + Expo and Meetings Quest.

In other Northstar news, Northstar Meetings Group has consolidated its Meetings & Conventions' Gold Awards and Successful Meetings' Pinnacle Awards into a new, comprehensive program -- the Stella Awards program. Finalists will be established via online voting by meeting planners, and winners will be judged by an expert panel of industry professionals. The early deadline to submit nominations is May 19, 2017, with a final entry deadline of May 26, 2017. Click here for more information and to enter.


Congratulations to this year’s PCMA Visionary Award winners! We were thrilled to attend the Visionary Awards ceremony earlier this week during which Deborah Sexton and the PCMA Education Foundation honored several of the meetings industry’s brightest leaders. Carol Krugman, CMP, CMM, Metropolitan State University of Denver; Martin Balogh, American Bar Association; and Barry Smith, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, were honored with the Educator, Meeting Professional and Supplier Lifetime Achievement Awards respectively. Meeting Professional of the Year went to Danielle L. Urbina, CMP, American Society of Anesthesiologists. Jennifer L. Erney, CMP, AccorHotels, won Supplier honors with Community Advocate accolades going to Peter C. O’Brien, Marriott Global Sales Organization; and Event Designer honors to Megan D. Tate, CMM, Wells Fargo.


We look forward to seeing many of you at IMEX in Frankfurt! Gary Sherwin and Tammy Blount will be on-site with our team. We hope you will visit us on the trade show floor and/or join us on Wednesday, May 17 from 9-9:50 a.m. for our panel, DestinationNEXT: The Future of Destination Marketing.

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