Biweekly Update - October 19, 2018

Greetings from Washington. D.C.,

I know many of us are returning from Las Vegas after a highly productive time at IMEX America.

Since the show first took place eight years ago, IMEX America continues to get bigger and better for exhibitors, customers and suppliers. Congratulations to our friends and partners Ray Bloom and Carina Bauer and their team for another exceptional show.

During IMEX, we held important meetings with our members and partners who serve on our Partner Advisory Council, Global Leadership Committee, Large Market Roundtable and Small Destination Organization Committee. Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate and give their feedback during these gatherings.

We also had the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of industry pioneers and emerging leaders at the Events Industry Council’s Hall of Leaders & Pacesetter Awards Celebration. Congratulations to Hall of Leaders inductees including Corbin W. Ball, CMP, CSP, DES, MS, Henry S. Givray, Edward Liu, PBM and Deborah Sexton; and the Pacesetter Award Winners including: Zena Phillips, CMP, CPCE, Jesse States, CMP, CMM and Jeff Chase

Las Vegas continues to boom, and it was nice to spend time with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s new CEO, Steve Hill and marketing executives Cathy Tull and Michael Goldsmith.


This week, we were thrilled to announce Leslie Odom Jr. as our keynote speaker for this year’s Destination Showcase, which is taking place February 13, 2019 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Tony and Grammy Award-winning performer, Leslie Odom Jr., has taken the entertainment world by storm across a variety of media - spanning Broadway, television, film, and music. Best known for his breakout role as 'Aaron Burr' in the smash hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, Odom Jr. received a 2015 Drama Desk Award nomination and won the Tony Award for "Best Actor in a Musical" for his performance. He also won a Grammy Award as a principal soloist on the original cast recording.

Destination Showcase is the nation’s only one-day event that connects CVBs with the nation’s top meeting planners all in one location. Exhibitor registration is now open, so we hope you and your team will join us at this exciting event! You may click here to learn more and register.


Our team has been in contact with Ken Lawson at VISIT FLORIDA on how we can help destinations affected by Hurricane Michael. In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, VISIT FLORIDA has fully transitioned into recovery assistance mode. They are working around the clock, with both the public and private sectors, to ensure everyone in our industry has the resources needed to recover. Please click here to read the statement from Ken Lawson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA.

We will continue to stay in contact with our friends, members and partners in the affected areas.


Congratulations to all of the destinations that made Condé Nast Traveler's Best Cities in the U.S. list!

Best Big Cities: Chicago, IL, New York, NY, New Orleans, LA, San Francisco, CA, Honolulu, HI, San Antonio, TX, San Diego, CA, Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, Boston, MA, Washington, D.C., Denver, CO, Nashville, TN, Minneapolis, MN, Indianapolis, IN

Best Small Cities: Charleston, SC, Santa Fe, NM, Savannah, GA, Alexandria, VA, Sarasota, FL, Sedona, AZ, Monterey, CA, Asheville, NC, Greenville, SC, Key West, FL, Portland, ME, Napa, CA, Palm Springs, CA, Newport, RI, Santa Barbara, CA

Congratulations to Tourism Calgary for Calgary scoring a 97.5 out of 100 on The Economist’s Global Livability Index 2018 survey scale. A recent article by PCMA Convene talks about how the most livable cities make great meeting destinations. You may read the article here.


Our partners at Tourism Economics recently released their This report has been made available to Destinations International members and may be downloaded here.

Congratulations to all of the leaders who were named one of this year’s Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry, especially our former Chair, and current CDME Board Chair, Maura Allen Gast, FCDME!


We have several exciting events coming up and we hope to see you at the following events and summits:

Thank you for your continued support of Destinations International and we look forward to seeing many of you next week at our Membership Summit in Greater Palm Springs, CA.

Best Wishes for a safe and enjoyable weekend.

Don Welsh signature

Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International