Biweekly Newsletter: September 27, 2019

Greetings and happy Friday from Washington, D.C.

I hope this was a good and productive week for all of you. As usual, there are many great activities and events taking place around the world that showcase the great work of destination organizations and the travel and tourism industry. With every one of these newsletters, it is our intent to report some of these events in detail. We have been sending newsletters in this similar style for three and a half years. We know your time is precious and we welcome any feedback on how this newsletter and others can be more valuable to you. With that in mind, if you have any specific suggestions or feedback, please let us know by emailing our communications team at [email protected]


Education continues to come up as one of the more important initiatives at Destinations International. Rori Ferensic and Elizabeth Jordan on our education team and Barbra Gustis on our events team were in Irving, TX this week to help facilitate our CDME Board Meeting. Special thanks to Maura Gast, CDME, Executive Director of the Irving CVB, for hosting us at the destination’s beautiful convention center. Speaking of CDME, our CDME courses in Alberta are coming up on October 8-11 in Banff. We encourage you to take a look at the courses and join us in the picturesque city of Banff. You may learn more and register for courses here.

This weekend kicks off our fall summit season with the Visitor Services Summit in Kansas City, MO. Below is a full list of our upcoming fall summits as well as a link to register. We hope to see you and your team soon at one of these important discipline-focused events.


We are thrilled to welcome five new members to Destinations International. Our team has enjoyed onboarding these destination organizations. Thanks to the following CVBs for their support:

  • DeSoto County Tourism
  • Crystal Coast Tourism Authority
  • Visit Albany GA
  • Highlands Chamber of Commerce
  • Tourism Barrie


Last week, Jack Johnson spoke to the Visit Napa Valley Partnership Meeting about the importance of destination organizations treating their residents as their ultimate customer. Congratulations to Linsey Gallagher, President and CEO of Visit Napa Valley, for a successful meeting that pulled key stakeholders and elected officials in from every part of Napa County.

This week, Jack was a guest speaker on Bill Geist’s Destination Marketing Organization University Podcast. Jack shared the research behind the new tourism lexicon that destination organizations will need to employ to establish destination marketing as a community shared value. He also outlined the logic they need in order to capture the support of our residents and community leaders. As a bonus, Jack shared where to find the best pizza in Chicago, IL, which you can do while at the 2020 Annual Convention. You may listen to the podcast here.

We’d like to give another reminder to check out the updated 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. The platform is open 24/7 and is a complimentary tool offered exclusively 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.


Beginning October 1, 2020, American travelers will need a REAL ID to pass through security at U.S. airports. The U.S. Travel Association has issued a toolkit to encourage Americans to get #REALIDready. You may learn more and download the toolkit here.

We have spoken with our friends at the Bermuda Tourism Authority and they have let us know that Bermuda is open for business following Hurricane Humberto. The team is looking forward to hosting their first-ever PGA Tour event in just 30 days.


Again, we want this newsletter to be a valuable tool for you. Please provide any feedback to myself or our communications team at [email protected].

We look forward to seeing you in Kansas City, MO for the upcoming Visitors Services Summit.

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable weekend!

Don Welsh signature

Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International