Biweekly Update: April 6, 2018

Greetings and happy Friday.

It goes without saying that we are very fortunate to be based in Washington, D.C., along with many of our industry partners. However, the team and I believe that it is important to meet with our members and partners face-to-face to hear firsthand how we can continue to improve our services and member benefits.

Last week, I had the opportunity to be in Houston, TX to speak at the 2018 Houston Tourism Summit. Attendees had the chance to partake in a full day of speakers, presentations, panels and the CVB member showcase. Thanks to Mike Waterman and his team and congratulations on your great accomplishments in 2017.

Last week, Jack Johnson was a keynote speaker at the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism sponsored by the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association in Grand Rapids. Jack spoke about the threats facing our industry and specifically the threat stemming from the continuing problem of the weaponization of travel through travel boycotts, bans and advisories. He also spoke about the need to move away from leading with a traditional ROI defense of our organizations to more of an emotional and ideological argument based on the role the destination organization plays in the community – a role that is for the public good. You can find out more about these topics on our website in the advocacy library here.

Alison Best and Kate Skidmore hit the road in March to visit northern California destination organization members. They had a chance to visit with our members at Sonoma County Tourism, Visit Sacramento and Visit Vacaville. These deep dive meetings with our destination members are part of our business plan for 2018 as we want to grow our engagement within the membership. Please contact Alison Best at [email protected] or Kate Skidmore at [email protected] to schedule a training or visit with our membership engagement team to learn how to better leverage your membership benefits.

This week, Melissa Cherry, Nina Winston and I met with our Pinnacle Partner, Simpleview at their headquarters in Tucson, AZ. We are grateful for their incredible support of our industry and our team at Destinations International. While in Tucson, we spent time with Brent DeRaad, President and CEO of Visit Tucson. We then drove to Scottsdale to meet with Rachel Sacco and her team at Experience Scottsdale. We topped off the day with Steve Moore and his team at Visit Phoenix. Thanks again for your hospitality and support!


Our summit schedule will continue later this month with our CEO Summit. We have almost 150 attendees registered for this year’s summit and we look forward to welcoming you to Bermuda. Thanks to Kevin Dallas and Vic Isley from the Bermuda Tourism Authority for their commitment to what will be an informative, inspiring and educational gathering in Bermuda.

We continue to hear from members that our summits are worthwhile, provide peer-to-peer networking and deliver invaluable learning opportunities. We are thrilled to open registration for this year’s events. We encourage you to mark your calendar and plan to attend so you can continue to learn, network and help your destination excel.

Here is a glimpse into this year’s summit offerings:

PDM Online Course: Destination Organization Operations: Technology & Human Resources
April 30 - May 7, 2018
Member Rate: US$ 495
Non-member Rate: US$ 695

2018 Annual Convention
July 10 - 13, 2018
Anaheim, California, USA
Member Rate: US$ 1,095
Non-member Rate: US$ 1,500

Summer Learning Week
July 6 - 10, 2018
Anaheim, California, USA
CDME (2 Core Courses, 2 Electives)
Member Rate: US$ 1,375 Core, US$ 750 Electives

PDM: Fundamentals of Destination Marketing and Management - Registration opening soon!
Member Rate: US$ 595
Non-member Rate: US$ 695

C-Suite Session: CVBs Engaged!*
August 17-19, 2018
Chicago, IL, USA
Member Rate: US$ 1995 team fee
Non-member Rate: US$ 2995 team fee
Includes up to three attendees per team with board members

Visitor Services Summit
September 23-25, 2018
Monterey, CA, USA
Member Rate: US$ 595
Non-member Rate: US$ 695

Membership Summit
October 21-24, 2018
Palm Springs, CA, USA
Member Rate: US$ 645
Non-member Rate: US$ 795

Finance, Operations and Technology Summit
October 28-31, 2018
Cleveland, OH, USA
Member Rate: US$ 695
Non-member Rate: US$ 795

CDME: Alberta* (2 Core Courses)
October 2018 - Save the date!
Alberta, Canada
Member Rate: TBD

Advocacy Summit
November 7-8, 2018
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Member rate: US$ 795

Fall Learning Week
November 11-16, 2018 - Save the date!
Seattle, Washington, USA
CDME (2 Core Courses, 2 Electives)
Member Rate: US$ 1,375 Core, US$ 750 Elective

PDM: Fundamentals of Sales
Member Rate: US$ 595
Non-member Rate: US$ 695

Sales Academy
Member Rate: US$ 895 member
Non-member Rate: US$ 1095

CDME Summit*
Member Rate: US$ 1095 member

19th Annual LGBTQ Tourism Forum*
December 2-4, 2018
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Rate: US$ 545

Convention Sales & Services Summit
December 11-12, 2018 – Save the date!
Member Rate: US$ 495
Non-member Rate: US$ 695

* New Program

For all updated information on our events please continue to check our website. You may find a full list of our events here.


Nominations for the Destinations International Board of Directors and Destinations International Foundation Board of Trustees are still open and being accepted until Friday, April 20. You may view the nomination form here. Please send the form to Chelsea Welter at [email protected].  

Applications are open through April 20 for the 2018 30 Under 30 Program. We are looking for the industry’s brightest rising stars, groundbreaking innovators and leaders of tomorrow. You may click here to learn more and apply.


Congratulations to Karen Kotowski with the Events Industry Council (EIC) for continuing to message the positive impact meetings and conventions have towards our industry. You may click here for a report and continued education on the value of events.

Congratulations to Casandra Matej and her team at the San Antonio CVB for successfully hosting the Final Four Tournament and congratulations to Villanova on their victory.

Congratulations to Kurt Burkhart on his retirement after nine years with the Charlottesville CVB. He has been a great asset to the tourism community and we wish him the best.

Thanks to our partners in Canada for their great support. We are pleased to announce that we currently have 10 destinations using the EIC in Canada. Additionally, our first CDME in Canada took place this week in Banff, Alberta, where we had 24 attendees.


We are looking forward to this year’s Annual Convention. Thanks to the nearly 500 registrants who took advantage of our Early Bird rate. This year’s event has many new exciting offerings, including a Brand USA educational track, LGBTQ marketing and best practices sessions and the World Café, a dedicated deep-discussion lounge to learn from industry leaders. We also invite attendees to bring their families to take part in Family Day, which will take place Sunday, July 8. Thanks to our friends at PCMA CONVENE for recently highlighting Family Day. You may read the article here.


Destinations International is focused on what’s next for destination management through forward-focused research and relevant data. We have many studies and policy briefs from industry experts that can help your destination excel in our Research Library. We encourage you to take a look around, soak in the information provided and pass along content to your team. One report our members find extremely valuable is our Compensation and Benefits Study. This study allows Destinations International members to view and analyze compensation and benefits practices by destination organizations by size, geography, department and position. The data collection period is open now and we encourage you to take some time to input your CVB’s information. You may learn more here. If you have questions about the study, please contact Andreas Weissenborn, Director of Research and Analytics at [email protected].


Starting last week, you received information from us regarding our newly enhanced membership benefits and dues structure. We will continue to investigate the most effective ways to provide our members with the maximum return on their investment and time. We are committed to delivering comprehensive benefits to all of our member destination organizations from a wide range of products and services through our four cornerstones of communityadvocacyresearch and education. If you have any questions about the new dues structure, please contact me at 1.202.835.4219 or Alison Best, Executive Vice President of Membership Engagement, at 1.202.835.4080.

Thanks to all of you for your ongoing support and commitment to our industry. Have a nice weekend.

Don Welsh signature

Don Welsh
President and CEO
Destinations International