Biweekly Newsletter: July 3, 2019

Greetings from Washington, D.C.

Let me begin by wishing all of our Canadian and U.S. friends and members who are celebrating Canada Day and the Fourth of July this week a great holiday. I know that many of us enjoy this special time with our family and friends to celebrate our freedom.


We continue to prepare for a great Annual Convention in St. Louis that kicks off on Tuesday, July 23 and wraps up on Thursday evening, July 25. This year’s Annual Convention will feature five keynote sessions, four mega sessions and over 50 concurrent sessions, all designed around the theme of “Evolve and Elevate.” It is not too late to attend. For more information, please click here.

We look forward to introducing our Destinations International House Band during our Annual Convention. This group, comprised of over 10 of our industry peers, will have their debut performance during our Opening Reception on Tuesday night. Special thanks to Gregg Shapiro with Tempest and Adam Sacks with Tourism Economics for their leadership and enthusiasm on this exciting and fun idea!

There is still time to donate to the Destinations International Foundation Silent Auction and register for the Annual Golf Tournament. If you have an item to donate for the Silent Auction, please reach out to [email protected] or fill out this form. You may click here to register for the Golf Tournament.


Earlier this week, Melissa Cherry and I had the opportunity to participate in the first anniversary of Discover Puerto Rico. As you may recall, this was a newly created organization that was years in the making. Congratulations to Brad Dean and his entire team for the incredible success that Puerto Rico has enjoyed since the launch of the new organization. Under Brad’s leadership, I am pleased to report that Puerto Rico is performing at higher levels prior to the hurricane that devastated the island in September 2017. We are thrilled to recognize Brad Dean at our Annual Convention this year as the distinguished Destination Organization Leadership Award recipient.


Congratulations to the following Destinations International Foundation ECM Scholarship winners:

  • Erin Simcox, Senior Manager of Housing, Visit Knoxville
  • Nancy Jackson, Manager Travel Trade, Tourism Calgary
  • Crystal Walker, Director of Sales & Services, Dayton CVB
  • Christopher Brislin, Director of Sales, Providence Warwick CVB

This group will be heading to the 33rd Annual ECM Summer School in London, England August 24-28, 2019.


We have been fortunate to have support from Shelly Green with Discover Durham over the years. She will be retiring from her President and CEO role in a few months and we wish her all the best as she finishes up special projects for the bureau. Congratulations to Susan Amey on her new appointment as President and CEO of the bureau. Susan has been a leader in our industry for many years and we look forward to working with her in her new role – and we look forward to celebrating her at our Annual Convention when she is recognized as a CDME graduate!

We wish you all a happy and healthy holiday week. Enjoy your time with your family and friends. Thanks again for your support.

Don Welsh signature

Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International