FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Washington, D.C. (June 17, 2023) – Destinations International, the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), today announced the 2023 award recipients including the 2023 Spirit of Hospitality awardee, Hall of Fame inductees, Destination Organization Leadership Award and Destination Organization Leadership Award for Global Impact recipients. The awardees will be honored in Dallas during the association’s Annual Convention.
“These leaders have made tremendous contributions to our industry and their respective destinations,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “These visionaries have been responsible for the evolution of our industry and have had a profound impact on its healthy future. Thank you to the Destinations International Awards Committee for their hard work and dedication in naming this year’s recipients.”
Spirit of Hospitality Award
The Spirit of Hospitality Award is the highest recognition presented annually to individuals and organizations that show exceptional dedication and commitment to the travel and tourism industry. This year’s awardee is:
• Too Fly Foundation
The Too Fly Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves the community by providing passports, travel grants, and educational experiences for students in under-resourced communities. To date, they’ve supported nearly 300 students in seeing the world. The Too Fly Foundation serves its community through the flagship Too Fly Fundraiser, a nationwide fundraiser to raise money for passports and travel grants; providing passports & travel grants through their annual grant cycle; galvanizing a curiosity of travel through their Travel@Home program, their Virtual Reality travel educational experience for students; and the Too Fly Flight Academy, a high-energy, pep-rally style student outreach program for students to explore travel through the five senses.
“The Too Fly Foundation is extremely grateful to be recognized with Destinations International's Spirit of Hospitality Award,” said Brandon Miller, Cofounder and Director of brand strategy. “Our organization was founded on the belief that every student should be able to see and experience the world; and equally, every corner of the world deserves to see and experience our students. We're honored to be acknowledged as we continue to build bridges and remove barriers for inclusive and equitable travel for all.”
Hall of Fame:
The Hall of Fame started in 2014 during Destinations International’s 100th Anniversary, was created to recognize individuals who have changed the future of destination marketing and management for the better. These individuals have made significant contributions to the advancement of the industry and shaped travel marketing and management. This year’s honorees include:
• Victor Hugo Green and Alma Green, creators and editors of The Green Book
• Dan Mobley, former president and CEO, Louisiana Travel Promotion Association
• Joseph McGrath, CDME, former president and CEO, VisitPittsburgh
• Steve Moore, former president and CEO, Visit Phoenix
• William “Bill” Hanbury, former president and CEO, Bermuda Tourism Authority
Destination Organization Leadership Award:
The Destination Organization Leadership Award was created in 2017 and is amongst the association's most prestigious honors, recognizing those outstanding individuals who, through their exceptional work and achievements, have made a significant impact on the destination organization industry as well as a profound difference in the communities they serve. This year’s awardees include:
Less than $1M:
• Melyssa Reeves, CDME, president & CEO, Visit Vacaville
• Alana Cooper, president and CEO, Discover Monroe-West Monroe
• Kyle Edmiston, CDME, president and CEO, Visit Lake Charles
$10M and Above:
• Jorge Pesquera, CDME, president and CEO, Discover The Palm Beaches
Destination Organization Award for Global Impact:
The Destination Organization Award for Global Impact is a brand-new award that has been created to recognize specifically those outstanding destination organizations who have through their exceptional service and innovation in their location or national communities made a significant impact on the global destination industry. This year’s recipient is:
• Destination Greater Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
About Destinations International:
Destinations International is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. With more than 6,000 members and partners from over 600 destinations, the association represents a powerful forward-thinking and collaborative community around the world. For more information, visit www.destinationsinternational.org.