Biweekly Update: May 4, 2018

Greetings and happy Friday.

I hope you have had a great week. Let me begin with a brief recap from our CEO Summit that wrapped up last Thursday. We were pleased that over 175 of our CEOs and partners were able to join us in Bermuda. Special thanks to Kevin Dallas and Vic Isley, with the Bermuda Tourism Authority, for hosting our attendees and guests. Their team put on a wonderful opening reception that set the tone for the rest of the week. I am sure all of our attendees will agree, it was an action-packed agenda with many great speakers, covering a wide range of topics from the evolving workplace to blockchain management. As with all of our summits, we strive to deliver rich and diverse content. 

We are grateful for the support of our two Pinnacle Partners, Brand USA and Simpleview. On Tuesday, we were treated to a beach party hosted by Ryan George, Rich Reasons, Greg Evans and Cara Frank from Simpleview. It was a perfect evening to enjoy one another’s company in such a beautiful setting. Chris Thompson and Anne Madison with Brand USA presented excellent content during their keynote sessions.

Next year's CEO Summit will take place in Asheville, NC. I know that Stephanie Pace Brown, our Foundation Chair, will provide another perfect setting for this event.

With the CEO Summit behind us, we have now shifted our focus to the Annual Convention that will take place July 10-13 in Anaheim, CA. To date, we have over 600 attendees registered, and we encourage you and your team to look at the agenda and plan to attend. Some exciting keynote speakers will be announced soon. You may learn more and register here.

This week, Colleen, Jack and I had the opportunity to meet with our members and their teams in Florida. We visited Tamara Pigott with the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, George Aguel and his senior team at Visit Orlando and DT Minich and his senior team with Experience Kissimmee to seek their feedback on how we can continually improve our services and products for our members. While in Orlando, I had the chance to join Colleen Phalen at the HelmsBriscoe Annual Meeting. Colleen did a great job explaining the important work of our planner facing initiative to the 150 destination organization representatives in attendance.

I am writing to you today from the offices of Visit Indy with our Board member, Leonard Hoops. Leonard and his team have truly elevated this great destination and were the recipients of one of the top work places in Indiana last evening. 

Next week, we will be meeting with Jorge Pesquera with Discover The Palm Beaches, Stacy Ritter with the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB and Bill Talbert (Miami Bill) with the Greater Miami CVB. Jack Johnson and Colleen Phalen will be meeting with Stephen Perry and his team with the New Orleans CVB.

We will continue to visit with our members to seek their feedback on how we can continually improve our services and products in conjunction with our new dues structure. We are grateful for your continued support and we will do everything in our power to earn and maintain your business and trust in the future.

Our Pinnacle Partners, Brand USA, had an exciting announcement yesterday. A new return on investment study conducted by Oxford Economics showed that since fiscal year 2013, Brand USA’s efforts are directly responsible for increasing international visitation by an incremental 5.4 million travelers. What's more, those visitors spent $17.7 billion, which generated a total economic impact of $38.4 billion. Congratulations to Chris Thompson and the entire Brand USA team.

Many of us had the opportunity to attend PCMA’s Visionary Awards on May 2 in Washington, D.C. For those that attended, I am sure you will agree that it was an exciting and fun event. We would like to extend our congratulations to the Lifetime Achievement Honorees including Carrie Freeman Persons, Vice Chair at Freeman; Dr. Godwin Charles Ogbeide, PhD, MBA, Associate Professor of Strategy and Hospitality at IUPUI; and Ray Kopcinski, CMP, Owner of Peak Global Consulting. Congratulations to all the Professional Excellence Award finalists and to Sherrif Karamat, CAE and his team at PCMA for a successful event.

Google has just expanded Posts on Google for destinations (cities, regions, states) to post events, news and updates for free on their destinations. Destination organizations can apply for an official account to post as the lead agency on behalf of their city or destination. Our friends at Miles Partnership will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, May 23, 3 p.m. ET/12 PT on Google Posts. Google Posts Product Manager Aditya Mahesh will introduce Posts on Google, highlight examples of cities and destinations around the world already active on the platform and share insights from top performing posts in travel, entertainment and more. Patrick Rodgers from Miles Partnership will then share the results of three destinations using Posts on Google and identify best practices in planning, content creation, posting and measurement techniques for destination organizations, including how to integrate Posts on Google with other marketing channels such as social media and email. You may click here to register for the webinar.

Hall of Fame and Destination Organization Leadership Award nominations are open. Any member organization or partner is eligible to nominate and can submit for consideration. Nomination forms for both awards must be submitted by 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 18, 2018 to Chelsea Welter at [email protected]

The Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have changed the future of destination marketing for the better, made significant contributions to the advancement of the industry and shaped travel marketing. You may download the nomination form here.

Destination Organization Leadership Award nominations is amongst the Association's most prestigious honors, recognizing those outstanding individuals who, through their exceptional work and achievements, have made a significant contribution to the destination marketing industry and a profound difference in the communities they serve. You may download the form here.

At a recent Board meeting, we talked about the importance of workforce development and diversity and inclusion. We know this is an important and critical issue for our industry around the world. We are pleased to report that almost 90 applicants were submitted for our 30 Under 30 program this year. Needless to say, these are our future leaders of tomorrow. We look forward to announcing the honorees soon.

I will have the privilege of speaking at the Simpleview Summit in Scottsdale, AZ next Tuesday. I look forward to seeing many members who will be attending this exciting annual gathering. Following Simpleview, many of us will be heading to IMEX Frankfurt and we are excited to see many of our members and partners from around the world. We will be hosting a DNEXT session and will be joining European Cities Marketing (ECM) for a joint press conference where we will announce the launch of the new Event Impact Calculator (EIC) for the European Market. The press conference will take place Wednesday, May 16, 2018 from 12-12:30 p.m. at the IMEX Frankfurt Press Centre, room Symmetrie 3, Level 8.1, Hall 8. As you know, this product continues to evolve to meet the demands of reporting and metrics. Thanks to Adam Sacks and our partners at Tourism Economics for their commitment to our industry.

Thanks to many of you who were able to join us for our Town Hall Webinars this week. We are committed to ensuring that you have the information you need to validate and maintain your support of our organization in the future. We hope you will join us for an upcoming Town Hall Webinar. Below you will find links to register based on your budget category.

Budget Category: Below $2M
Friday May 11, 2 p.m.
Click here to register.

Budget Category: $2M - $20M
Thursday May 10, 2 p.m.
Click here to register.

Budget Category: $20M and over
Thursday May 10, 11 a.m.
Click here to register.

For more information, please reach out to Ali Best at [email protected].

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable weekend!

Don Welsh signature

Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International