Biweekly Update: March 9, 2018

Greetings and happy Friday from Washington, D.C.

Our CMO Summit wrapped up on Tuesday in Pittsburgh, PA after two full days of forward-thinking learning. Nearly 100 attendees had the opportunity to immerse themselves within the destination, through four Incubator Sessions, rather than staying in one meeting room. Needless to say, this type of new format took a lot of coordination between our team and Visit Pittsburgh. Thanks to Craig Davis, Tom Loftus, Mike Robertson and the entire Visit Pittsburgh team for being excellent hosts. Thanks also to David McMillin with PCMA for being the emcee for the Incubator Sessions. Our team will continue to reimagine all of our events and how our education is delivered.

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If you are planning to attend our CEO Summit in Bermuda, we encourage you to make your travel plans now as the room block will close on Monday, March 12. There are over 110 CEOs, C-suite and executive-level staff registered who will learn from global leaders addressing high-level topics such as: overtourism, destination guardianship, crisis response, office culture of the future and the weaponization of travel. You may click here to register and learn more.

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As you may have seen, Hills Balfour was recently acquired by MMGY Global. There is no doubt that this acquisition will offer Hills Balfour clients more of a global reach and a fully integrated marketing firm. Congratulations to our friends and partners at MMGY on this exciting news.

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Last week, we launched registration for the 2018 Annual Convention in Anaheim, California. The multi‐day event will bring together over 1,500 travel and tourism leaders from around the globe to learn from over 50 inspiring sessions – including discipline-focused tracks for all budget sizes – led by the best minds in the industry. We encourage you to take advantage of the early bird registration rates, which will apply through March 30. You may learn more and register here.

We would like to make you aware that a few of our members have received aggressive phone calls from a company selling hotel rooms for our Annual convention. Destinations International is NOT affiliated with this company or any company. Our organization does NOT use third party housing bureaus for our events. We have room blocks at four Anaheim hotels and encourage you to book your room with the information provided on our website here. If you do receive calls from this company, we encourage you to ignore them. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to our events team directly by emailing [email protected] or giving us a call at +1.202.296.7888.

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The Destinations International Foundation is gathering data for the 2018 Compensation and Benefits Collection to better understand current organization compensation and benefits practices by destination organizations by size, geography, department and position. You are invited to enter data, now through June 30, from the most recently completed financial year. Take advantage of this unique and invaluable resource to assist in guiding the development and strategies of your destination organization. After the data collection period has concluded, all organizations who completed the survey by June 30, 2018 will enjoy complimentary access to compare your responses with other organizations, download personalized charts, and use filters to create comparative sets. You may click here to get started.

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Sometimes when you are looking for inspiration, it shows up in unexpected places. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to see the legacy, hard work and vision of our friend, Dan Lincoln, at the Cincinnati USA CVB 2018 Annual Meeting. Dan recently retired from the CVB after 11 years at the helm.

We were able to hear testaments by the Mayor, the Board and Cincinnati USA CVB team to Dan’s leadership in our industry and had the chance to experience the surprise announcement that the CVB renamed its Institute for Hospitality Leadership (IHL) in honor of Lincoln. The newly christened Dan Lincoln Institute for Hospitality Leadership was created in 2016 to connect students and hospitality businesses to prepare more skilled workers and leaders for the continued expansion of the travel and tourism sector. Dan led the charge on diversity and inclusion in the city of Cincinnati that has truly reshaped the city. I know I speak for many when I say that Dan is a legendary leader in our industry and that his devotion to his career in building and reimagining the city of Cincinnati will always be remembered. And continues to battle MS like a warrior!

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We are excited to announce that this week we hit a major milestone with DestinationNEXT - the 150th Destination Assessment! Paul Ouimet had the chance to spend the day with Donna Carpenter and her team at Visit Cabarrus. Thanks to Paul for his leadership and committment to making DNEXT a true global product for Destinations International. You may learn more about DNEXT here.

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable weekend!

Don Welsh
President and CEO
Destinations International