Biweekly Newsletter: May 24, 2019

Greetings and happy Friday.

I know many of us have just returned from IMEX Frankfurt, where over 9,000 meeting and event professionals meet annually. Congratulations and thanks to Ray Bloom, Carina Bauer and the IMEX team for a great event and for their continued and growing support of our industry. Thanks to the great planning of Nina Winston, this was a highly productive week for Destinations International. Two big announcements from Destinations International were made during IMEX:

  • We announced our new partnership with the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB). Together, Destinations International and AACB will join forces with Tourism Economics to develop an Australian version of the Event Impact Calculator (EIC). You may click here to read the press release. Special thanks to Andrew Hiebl, CEO, of AACB, for his partnership.
  • We also joined Sherrif Karamat, President and CEO of PCMA, at PCMA’s press conference to announce BEAM, a new data intelligence service for the business events industry. This new tool will allow destination organizations to be smarter and have the ability to drive their own success. You may click here to read the announcement.

EIC is quickly becoming the global standard in measuring meetings, conventions, festivals and sports. Along with our counterparts from Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company, we gave EIC demos to many European Cities Marketing (ECM) member destinations as well as several other destinations who are interested in using the tool.

Additionally, we had the opportunity to present an educational session on destination stewardship while in Frankfurt, and our Global Leadership Committee met and had a productive and forward-looking discussion.

I had the pleasure and honor of presenting the 2019 Global Ambassador Award to our immediate past-chair, Tammy Blount-Canavan, President and CEO of the Monterey County CVB. This award recognizes a destination organization and its leader,who beyond their local impact, also demonstrates significant leadership and commitment to the global community. Tammy’s work on the global issues of sustainability and destination leadership, as well as her continued work in building an engaged global destination community, made her worthy of this recognition.

A special thanks to Amanda Hills and the team at Hills Balfour, for their engagement and support of our IMEX Frankfurt efforts.


Our 2019 Annual Convention is just two months away! This is THE destination organization event of the year and content is designed for CVBs of all budget sizes. We encourage you to register your team today and take advantage of the networking and programming of this year’s event in St. Louis, MO.

For those attending Annual Convention, don’t forget to sign up for the Annual Golf Classic on July 23, 2019 from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Gateway National in Madison, MO. Enjoy golf as it was meant to be played at this stunning, links-style course. For more information and to register, you may click here.

In other Foundation news, the Destinations International Foundation is looking forward to another successful Silent Auction at Annual Convention. All money raised will be used to support research, education, advocacy and leadership development. If you have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience that you would like to donate toward the Silent Auction, or would like more information, please contact Mary Bramley at [email protected].


The Destinations International Foundation has opened the application process for our European Cities Marketing (ECM) Summer School Scholarship Program. We are offering five scholarships to convention sales or travel trade professionals who are interested in attending the 33rd Annual ECM Summer School in London, England August 24-28, 2019. You may learn more about ECM Summer School here. Winning recipients of this prestigious scholarship will be awarded US$ 3,500 towards ECM Summer School-related expenses. Recipients must be employed by a Destinations International destination member organization. Applicants will be asked to include their resume/CV and provide brief written answers to questions as part of the application process. You may click here to download the application.

This week, our friends and partners at Tempest held their Tourism Academy in Pittsburgh, PA. Jack Johnson spoke on destinations becoming a shared community value and Mary Bramley introduced the Destinations International Foundation to the over 60 destination organizations and vendors. Special thanks to Alex Heimann, Gregg Shapiro, Mark Lynch and the entire Tempest team on a great event!


Congratulations to Steve Moore, President and CEO of Visit Phoenix, and his entire team, on being awarded the Corporate Honoree at the Greater Phoenix Urban League’s 55th Annual Whitney M. Young Jr. Awards Dinner on Friday, May 17, 2019. The award is given to a company that exhibits genuine concern for the community in promoting diversity, and social and economic equality. Congratulations on the great work, Visit Phoenix!

Congratulations to the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau on the official launch of the DuPage Sports Commission. Congratulations to Executive Director, Beth Marchetti and the entire team on this achievement!

Destinations International, represented by Melissa Cherry, Elaine Rosquist, Kate Skidmore, Andreas Weissenborn and David Breisch, was excited to join our Pinnacle Partner, Simpleview, at their annual Simpleview Summit in Phoenix, Arizona this week. We hosted our first-ever Super User Groups for the Event Impact Calculator and MINT+, where we solicited feedback from our top users to help determine the future of these industry-leading products. The team also presented two educational sessions on the Event Impact Calculator (EIC) and set up a Destinations International lounge area where we networked with over 700 attendees and hosted live demos and Q&As. Congratulations and thank you to Board member, Cara Frank, Rich Reasons, Board Trustee, Ryan George and the entire Simpleview team on another successful summit.

We look forward to meeting with many of our members and partners next week who are attending Rendez-vous Canada in Toronto.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Jefferson City, MO as they deal with the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes. We are working to get in touch with our members in the area.

For those of you celebrating the Memorial Day holiday, we hope you have a pleasant and enjoyable long weekend. 

Don Welsh signature

Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International