Biweekly Newsletter: February 1, 2019

Greetings and happy Friday.

I know many of us in the U.S. are eagerly anticipating this weekend’s Super Bowl LIII taking place in Atlanta, GA. It goes without saying that these types of events require an incredible amount of planning in order to provide a great fan and visitor experience. Good luck to our Chair and President and CEO of the Atlanta CVB, William Pate, and his team this weekend. We will be cheering you on!


We are in the final stages of planning for the Spirit of Hospitality Celebration and Destination Showcase that will both take place here in Washington, D.C. on February 12 and 13.

To date, we have sold almost 400 tickets for the Spirit of Hospitality Celebration and we are nearly sold out with only 50 tickets remaining. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this networking event of the year!

As you know, this is the main fundraising event for the Destinations International Foundation which provides critically important resources for our members in the area of research, education and advocacy. This year, we will honor travel expert and television host, Samantha Brown, as our Spirit of Hospitality Award honoree. The Pat McGee Band will be providing musical entertainment, with a few other industry special guests that you won’t want to miss! In addition, we will be raffling off incredible trips and autographed Samantha Brown luggage. It is not too late to purchase tickets for this event. You may purchase tickets here. If you have any questions, please reach out to Jack Johnson at [email protected].

Special thanks to our Spirit of Hospitality sponsors: Tempest, Nashville CVC, Brand USA, Destination DC, Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, VisitPITTSBURGH, NYC & Company, Visit Baltimore, IMEX, Miles Partnership, TripAdvisor, Tourism Economics, Simpleview, Las Vegas CVA, Houston First, Visit Salt Lake, Visit Phoenix, Visit Savannah, Digital Edge Marketing, Expedia Group Media Solutions, SearchWide Global, Visit Omaha, Explore Asheville, Fuseideas, NEXTFactor, Rockford Area CVB, NorthStar Meetings Group, MMGY Global, Hilton and Longwoods International.

Destination Showcase takes place February 13 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. We have an exciting day planned for both CVBs and meeting planners. The day will be filled with networking and educational opportunities. We will kick off with PCMA Education Sessions for planners and then we will hear from our keynote, Tony and Grammy Award-winning performer, Leslie Odom Jr. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to meet with meeting planners! Exhibitor registration is still open. You may learn more and register here.


Last week we had the opportunity to spend the day with Paul Van Deventer, President and CEO of MPI, and his entire senior management team in Dallas, TX to discuss mutual opportunities between our respective teams. It was a very valuable time together and we look forward to introducing some exciting new initiatives with MPI in the very near future.


Join fellow professionals in advancing your career to blend theory with experience and the application of knowledge to help your organization thrive in a constantly changing environment with our April CDME courses. In partnership with Travel Alberta, Destinations International is pleased to offer our CDME courses April 9-12 in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

The following courses will be offered during the April series: 

  • Destination Marketing Planning: Tuesday, April 09 - Wednesday, April 10 (2-day core)
  • Destination Partnership & Innovative Funding: Thursday, April 11 - Friday, April 12 (1.5-day elective)

To learn more or to register, you may click here.


Congratulations to our friend, Paul Nursey, President and CEO of Destination Greater Victoria, on a great IMPACT Sustainability Conference last week. The conference was designed to be a collaborative vision to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability for tourism in Canada. Tammy Blount-Canavan, FCDME, President and CEO of the Monterey County CVB and Greg Oates with NEXTFactor, both spoke at this great conference.


This week, many of you received a Diversity and Inclusion survey. As one of our strategic goals, Destinations International has recently launched several initiatives to lead and engage diversity and inclusion opportunities on behalf of the destination marketing and management industry. If you received this survey, we invite you to take 10 minutes to help us begin to benchmark the diversity of our destination member organizations. We ask that only one person from your organization fills out this survey. If you have any questions, or would like the link to the survey, please do not hesitate to reach out to Melissa Cherry at [email protected].

Destinations International has partnered with the Philadelphia CVB to promote the Diversity and Inclusion Conference, which takes place on March 25-26, 2019 at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. This incredible event is full of strategies that can influence corporate social responsibility and broaden cross-cultural understanding, producing critical dialogue and exchange of information for effective tactics. You may learn more and register here.


Destinations International would like to acknowledge the following new members: Brookhaven Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau, Jackson County Tourism Development Authority, Union County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Visit Elizabeth City, Visit Oxnard, Visit St. Mary's MD, Visit Sugarland Convention and Visitors Bureau and Warren County Tourism Department. Welcome aboard!

It will be a busy week in Washington, D.C. from February 11-13. In addition to the Spirit of Hospitality Celebration and Destination Showcase, we will be busy with Board meetings and Learning Week. Thanks again to all our dedicated members who commit their time, experience and resources to benefit our industry at these meetings and educational opportunities.

Stay warm this weekend and we look forward to seeing many of you soon.

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable weekend!

Don Welsh signature

Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International