Biweekly Update: June 1, 2018

Greetings from Washington, D.C.

We send our deepest thoughts and condolences to our friends in Ellicott City, MD as they deal with the second devastating flood in two years. Since the last flood, the city has worked hard to rebuild its historic downtown area that attracts visitors from around the region. We have been in touch with Amanda Hoff with Visit Howard County, Maryland and will keep members up-to-date on ways to help.

We look forward to seeing many of you at our 2018 Annual Convention next month. We are excited to welcome attendees from across the globe including: Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the U.S. If you haven't already registered, there is still time!

The Annual Convention is a great opportunity to network, hear from industry peers about what's worked and what hasn't in their marketing campaigns, and learn international travel trends with the Brand USA track. You may click here to see the entire program details and register.

We know you will enjoy the many new activities we have in store for you at this year's convention. Our office has been gearing up for the Take Carra Health and Wellness Initiative with a friendly "Walk to Anaheim" step challenge. We did the math and worked out how many steps it would take for our entire team to "walk to Anaheim" during the month of May. We have all been striving to hit at least 10,000 steps a day and we are excited to keep the momentum going through all of the exciting Take
Carra programs happening throughout the convention. The Take Carra program takes place in memory of our good friend, Jim Carra. You may find a list of all of the Take Carra events on the Annual Convention website here.

Family Day takes place on Sunday, July 8 and will include a brunch session, community service project and movie night. Family Day registration is complimentary but required. You may register for Family Day as part of your Annual Convention registration. To add this event to your registration:

  • Log into member portal
  • Click "Events" tab at the top of the page
  • Click "2018 Annual Convention"
  • Go to the agenda on left hand side of the page
  • Click the "+" button next to the scheduling item you would like to add to your cart
  • Checkout

Three Learning Labs will be taking place on Tuesday, July 10 to benefit the Destinations International Foundation. These are unique ways to enjoy an experiential learning opportunity while in Anaheim. You may register for a Learning Lab below.

The cut-off for the Annual Convention hotel room block is Friday, June 8, 2018. We invite you to make your reservations today at one of three properties with rooms available:

Before the Annual Convention kicks off, you have even more opportunities for learning with CDME (two core courses and two electives) and the PDM: Fundamentals of Destination Marketing and Management course. We look forward to welcoming over 20 CDME graduates at the ceremony taking place on Thursday at the Annual Convention. After the ceremony, we will toast to the graduates at a reception.

Congratulations to Roger Dow and the team at U.S. Travel, Chris Thompson and the team at Brand USA and to host city President and CEO Richard Scharf from Visit Denver for a very successful IPW. This was the 50th anniversary for this critically important show for our industry and country. On top of the over 100,000  ppointments, this year's attendees were treated to the music of The B-52s, OneRepublic and Rob Thomas.

Our team has been on the road the past two weeks connecting with our members across the U.S. Alison Best, EVP of Membership Engagement, spent a few days in Wisconsin meeting with Deb Archer, CEO of Madison, and her team who are coming off a win for best Sports Commission in the Country in their budget category. Ali met with the team to listen and learn more about what they needed to see from us, and what tools and events they found most valuable. She then joined 14 destination CEOs at the Wisconsin Association of CVBs Board Meeting in the Wisconsin Dells. Many destinations in Wisconsin are more leisure based than convention based, and Ali engaged the group in a discussion about what smaller destinations want and need – and what opportunities exist beyond the large market cities.

This week Ali and Jack Johnson both had the chance to attend the CalTravel Annual Summit in San Diego. California is leading the country with some of their funding and advocacy initiatives and Barb Newton is doing a masterful job of leading this growing association. Jack did a session on protecting your TID/Funding – drilling down on the current trends and threats in our industry.

Last week, our Director of Research and Analytics, Andreas Weissenborn had the opportunity to speak about tourism trends at the Destination New Bedford Tourism Summit.

The Destinations International Foundation is pleased to offer five $3,500 USD scholarships to European Cities Marketing (ECM) Summer School, August 25-29 in Thessaloniki, Greece. This is a wonderful educational opportunity for a junior to mid-level team member to build a solid understanding of the meetings industry while connecting with Europe's leading destination organizations. Attendees will also receive credit towards their CMP accreditation. If you have any questions, please contact Jim McCaul at [email protected].

We are thrilled to welcome Yvonne Pearson, Manager of Strategic
Alliances and Greg Morris, Director of Meetings and Education to the
Destinations International team.

Yvonne brings with her a strong background in destination organizations, marketing, partnerships and events. She joins us from the Visit National Harbor Convention and Visitors Association, where she was Senior Coordinator of Tourism and Business Development. Yvonne will be working closely with Nina Winston where she will be managing our Corporate, Strategic, Pinnacle and Industry partnerships.

Prior to joining Destinations International, Greg served as the Assistant Director of Meetings and Events at NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, where he oversaw and directly executed the pre and on-site logistics for 15-20 yearly workshops and institutes, as well as assisted in the overall planning and execution of
NASPA's annual conference which hosted 8,000+ attendees.

Good luck and best wishes to our friends at MPI as they get ready to welcome everyone to Indianapolis for World Education Congress! Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable weekend.


Don Welsh signature

Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International