Biweekly Update: September 21, 2018

Greetings and happy Friday.

It goes without saying that our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with the many cities impacted by Hurricane Florence. Our team has reached out to the CVBs in the affected areas and will keep our membership updated with how we can help with recovery in the weeks and months to come.

Kim Hufham, President/CEO of the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau sent us the following message:

We are already seeing positive signs of recovery in our area. Both bridges to Carolina Beach/Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach opened to residents earlier this week. We continue to receive positive reports of power being restored. Cleanup efforts are well underway, and businesses are preparing to reopen throughout Wilmington and its island beaches. The Wilmington International Airport (ILM) is open, and we anticipate conditions will start to improve even more quickly once water levels recede.

The Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is continuing to work closely with local officials and tourism industry partners as the situation evolves. Once officials fully assess the storm’s impact, we will be better prepared to answer specific questions.

Visitors can find updates on what they can expect and when each destination is ready to welcome visitors again by visiting the CVB’s hurricane recovery sites. They can also follow along on each destination’s social channels, the links to which can be found here:

Many of you have contacted us over the past few days asking how you can help. We have updated the disaster page on our website to point you in the right direction. You may click here to learn more.

Inspiration and human kindness seem to especially be on display during times of crisis. We saw it in Houston, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, California and now, in North and South Carolina. It didn’t surprise us this week to see Washington’s own Chef José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen team quickly assemble to deliver meals to dozens of shelters, police stations, response teams, neighborhoods and families without access to food in the Carolinas. As of today, Andrés and his team have already prepared more than 80,000 meals for Hurricane Florence victims. You may recall that Chef Andrés and his team were some of the first responders in Puerto Rico and fed over 3.6 million people. During last year’s Destination Showcase keynote, he shared his passion for our industry, the importance travel plays in humanity and his commitment to serve. You may learn more and donate to the World Central Kitchen here.


Our summit schedule is in full swing between now and the end of the year and we are excited to announce that registration is open for the Convention Sales and Services Summit, which will take place December 8-10, 2018 in New Orleans, LA.

After hearing feedback from many of our sales and services leaders in the industry and members of the Convention Sales and Services Committee, this summit has been renamed, reimagined and redesigned from the ground up. With two days of learning, Destinations International will now offer a full summit agenda focused on strategic sales and services for CVB executives. Topics will focus on the unique sales proposition for CVBs leveraging insights from research, industry leaders and new insights from advisory boards. You may learn more and register here.


Some congratulations are in order!

Congratulations to Christian Woronka on being appointed to Director of the Vienna Convention Bureau at the Vienna Tourist Board (VCB).

Congratulations to Dave Herrell for being named the new President and CEO of the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Congratulations to our Board member, Cheryl Kilday for being named the CEO of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau. Cheryl has been a strong and dedicated leader within our association and we are looking forward to working with her in her new role.


We hope to see many of you at our upcoming CDME courses. We are pleased to offer CDME courses in Banff, Alberta, Canada October 9-12, 2018 and in Seattle, WA November 12-17, 2018.

The CDME program is the tourism industry’s highest individual educational achievement. We hope you will join fellow industry leaders for one of these upcoming courses. To learn more about CDME and how to submit an application for the program, click here or contact Rebecca Turner, our VP of Education and Certification, at [email protected].

We are looking forward to seeing many of our visitor services professionals during our upcoming Visitor Services Summit in Monterey, CA.

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable weekend.

Don Welsh signature

Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International