Biweekly Update: May 18, 2018

Greetings from Washington, D.C.

The value of face-to-face meetings has never been more apparent than at this week’s IMEX in Frankfurt, Germany. I would like to congratulate and thank our partners and friends, Ray Bloom and Carina Bauer, on another successful event. Both IMEX shows in Frankfurt and Las Vegas continue to grow annually and bring together global exhibitors, industry partners and most importantly, customers from around the world. It is three days of non-stop meetings, events and gatherings. This year, we had the privilege of awarding Destinations International Board member, Ignasi de Delàs, and Turisme de Barcelona with our Global Ambassador Award at the IMEX Gala. Turisme de Barcelona was recognized for their commitment to the international tourism community, strong leadership and their bold efforts during disasters and other challenges. Thanks to our Board Chair, Tammy Blount-Canavan, FCDME, for not only representing the Monterey County CVB, but for presenting at sessions and attending a majority of meetings and events on behalf of Destinations International. Thanks also to Paul Ouimet, who presented a DestinationNEXT session during IMEX.


While at IMEX, we also announced our expanded partnership with European Cities Marketing (ECM) to launch the Event Impact Calculator (EIC) for the European market.

The EIC is powered by Destinations International and measures the economic value of an event and calculates its return on investment to local taxes. Armed with this information, destination organizations and CVBs are better prepared to make the case to policymakers for the ongoing development and growth of the events sector. The partnership with ECM will enable destinations across Europe to be equipped with the tool. You may read the full press release here. Thank you to Flavie Baudot and Dieter Hardt-Stremayr and the entire ECM team for their ongoing partnership. With our expansion of EIC in Canada earlier this year, and now in Europe, it proves that accurate reporting and metrics are a global requirement for our industry. We are very fortunate to have a global partnership with Adam Sacks and his team at Tourism Economics.


Each year we anxiously look forward to receiving the applications for the 30 Under 30 program.

We all know the importance of talent development for our industry and the 30 Under 30 program plays a very important role in identifying these future leaders.

This year, we had almost 100 applications from around the globe and we are excited to announce the 2018 30 Under 30 class, which has honorees from a variety of destination organizations of all sizes including Brand USA, Visit Aurora, Tourisme Montréal and Choose Chicago. The 30 individuals, 30 years of age and under, will have the opportunity to engage in professional development opportunities throughout 2018 and beyond. Special thanks to SearchWide, the program’s founding partner and IMEX and Northstar for sponsoring this important program. It is now my pleasure to announce this year’s class!

This year’s class includes:

  • Liana Acevedo, Richmond Region Tourism
  • Sarah Alexander, Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • George Bansah, Brand USA
  • Amber Burns, Visit Philadelphia
  • Jeremiah Cook, Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Colleen Costello, Newport Beach & Company
  • Nick Cusick, Visit Saint Paul
  • Barry Draper, DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Carleigh Dworetzky, Destination DC
  • Jonathan Eckelberg, Travel Wisconsin
  • Alexa Gallagher, Choose Chicago
  • Nancy Gordy, Edmonton Tourism
  • Calista Klein, Travel Tacoma + Pierce County
  • Ali Lechlitner, Visit South Bend Mishawaka
  • Sarah Justine Leduc-Villeneuve, Tourisme Montréal
  • Ruida Lu, Tourism Toronto
  • Fidel Mitchell, CMP, Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Randi Morritt, Visit Aurora
  • Ashley Patton, Visit KC
  • Kristen Pepper, Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Brianna Prasloski, Tourism Vancouver
  • Brendan Pringle, Visit SLO CAL
  • Elizabeth Robinson, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Chris Robinson, Visit Salt Lake
  • Robert Row, Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Michaelean Stewart, Visit Panama City Beach
  • Cameron Teske, Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Tamara Thorhallsson, Visit Seattle
  • Krystle Whitlock, Greater Newark Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Christine Zetzl, Visit Indy

We look forward to welcoming these 30 honorees to Anaheim for our Annual Convention, which is one of the first of many exciting professional development opportunities offered to these young industry leaders.


We are less than eight weeks away from our Annual Convention in Anaheim, California. We look forward to inspiring and equipping you with education sessions as well as giving you the opportunity to connect with industry peers.

If you haven’t already registered, you may do so here. For those planning to attend the convention, we invite you to reserve a room at one of the four hotels within our room block. The cut-off for the group rate is Friday, June 8, 2018. You may book your hotel here.

Registration is now open for the online Membership and Communications PDM course, which takes place June 4-11, 2018. You may click here to register.


Thanks to all of you for your continued support of Destinations International and your commitment to the new dues structure that was recently introduced. As part of this introduction, we held six Town Hall Webinars to discuss the enhanced member benefits and to provide additional information to members. Each webinar was dedicated to a budget category and we had almost 200 members registered! If you missed the webinar, please reach out to Ali Best at [email protected] for a webinar recording.

Thanks to our Membership Committee Chair, Bryan Grimaldi, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of NYC & Company; Chair-elect, William Pate, President and CEO of the Atlanta CVB; and Melyssa Laughlin, CDME, Executive Director of Visit Vacaville, for participating. Should you have any questions regarding membership, please do not hesitate to contact Ali Best or myself directly.

Many of us will be departing over the weekend for this year's IPW which will be held in Denver, CO. We know how hard Richard Scharf and his team at Visit Denver have been working to welcome the world to their great city. Best wishes to our partners, U.S. Travel Association and Brand USA, as they hold the most important international tourism gathering in the U.S.


And yet another horrible school shooting has taken place today at Santa Fe High School in Texas. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families and the entire community is in our thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,

Don Welsh signature

Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International