Biweekly Newsletter: August 30, 2019

Greetings and happy Friday,

Earlier this week, Melissa Cherry and I had the opportunity to attend our first Connect meeting in Louisville, KY. Chris Collinson and our partners at Connect had over 4,000 industry leaders, planners and destination organization professionals in attendance. It was a very active show floor and it is always wonderful to see our members.

We also had the opportunity to spend time with Karen Williams, President and CEO, and Cleo Battle, Chief Operating Officer, with Louisville Tourism while we were in town. Great things continue to take place in Louisville, and it was a pleasure to hear Mayor Greg Fischer talk so favorably about the power of our industry and his commitment to growing new meetings and tourism business for Louisville. It was also good to hear him talk about our industry and its positive impact on the community. I know we all work very hard with our local elected leaders to educate and drive home the importance of our work. Clearly, Mayor Fischer believes that Tourism Louisville is a community shared value providing a wide range of benefits to Louisville.

Congratulations to Roger Dow, Nan Marchand Beauvois and the U.S. Travel Association team on a very successful ESTO last week. Melissa Cherry, Caitlyn Blizzard and Mary Bramley on our team attended the event in Austin, TX and had an opportunity to catch up with many of our members and engage in the educational offerings. Congratulations to Tom Noonan, President and CEO of Visit Austin, and his entire team on another successful event in the Live Music Capital of the World!


We recently released our 2019 DestinationNEXT Futures Study. We continue to receive positive feedback that this study is providing our members with a roadmap for the future of their destinations. If you haven’t had the chance to read the study, we encourage you to download your complimentary copy now. You may download it here.

As I have said in the past few newsletters, we are ready to embark on fall summits, and we urge you and your team to attend. Please take a look at the upcoming summits and register now.

Congratulations to the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce on achieving their 4-year Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) Renewal. They join more than 200 destination organizations that have distinguished themselves as organizations with quality performance standards for the industry. You may click here to learn more about becoming DMAP accredited.


We are excited to announce the latest updates for the Destination Organization Performance Reporting platform (formerly the Organization and Financial Profile Study) to better understand current organization funding, expenditures, trends and performances of destination organizations. Access to the platform is complimentary and exclusive to destination organization members of Destinations International who participate in the data collection. This year, we have added a new diversity and inclusion section, reworked the funding section powered by Civitas Advisors and updated the destination metrics section. You may click here to learn more.


The Destinations International Foundation exists to ensure that you are supported with knowledge and powerful tools, so you can continue driving growth in our industry. With every dollar the Foundation raises, it tackles issues all destination organizations face on a daily basis. One key initiative our advocacy team works on, with the support of the Foundation, is media monitoring and issues tracking. Skift highlighted this work in a recent article. You may read the article here.


Thanks to the many of you who take time out of your busy schedules to read these updates. We work hard to make them relevant and worthy of your time. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Caitlyn Blizzard, CDME who was just promoted to Vice President of Communications at Destinations International. As part of Melissa Cherry’s team, Caitlyn has worked very hard over the past couple of years to develop an extensive communications strategy and to communicate the value of CVBs around the world.


Our next big industry event will take place in a few weeks in Las Vegas with our friends at IMEX. I am sure we will have the chance to visit with many of you while we are attending and wish you all safe travels.

Again, I want to thank all of you for your continued support of Destinations International. For those of you who will be celebrating the long Labor Day Weekend, we wish you a happy and safe holiday.

Don Welsh signature

Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International