Destinations International Announces Melissa Cherry as Chief Operating Officer

Click here to download high resolution headshot.

Washington, D.C. (October 5, 2018) – Destinations International today announced the promotion of Melissa Cherry to Chief Operating Officer of Destinations International, effective October 3, 2018. Cherry currently serves as the organization’s Chief Marketing Officer and brings over 22 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry.

“Melissa Cherry is a dynamic leader and has played an intricate role in the development of Destinations International,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Destinations International. “Her strategic thinking and leadership qualities have helped our team grow into a strong organization that is constantly serving our members. It is only fitting that she takes on this new role within our organization.”

“Melissa has played a critical role in the resurgence of Destinations International,” said William Pate, Board Chair of Destinations International and President and CEO of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Her understanding of all aspects of the organization’s operations makes her uniquely qualified for this role.”

As Chief Marketing Officer of Destinations International, Cherry has been responsible for the development and execution of the overall marketing and communications strategy to promote the association’s mission, elevate the brand, and drive awareness of its impact to advance the success of the destination marketing industry worldwide. In collaboration with Miles Partnership, she led the rebranding of the association in 2017, which was recognized by ASAE with a 2018 Gold Circle Award.

In her new role as Chief Operations Officer, Cherry will be lead the team in consolidating the organization’s core revenue areas, including membership, products (both current and future development), sponsorship, global growth development, information technology and over all brand management.

Prior to joining Destinations International, Cherry was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Cultural Tourism at Choose Chicago. During her four-year tenure at the city’s official destination marketing organization, she led Choose Chicago’s domestic and international marketing strategies, and launched the first-ever Cultural Tourism Strategy to increase visitation and awareness to Chicago’s cultural assets. Additionally, she Launched the inaugural Chicago Theatre Week, the first-ever city-wide Chinese New Year celebration and led and developed Chicago’s first official presence at SXSW. Cherry’s 20 plus years of experience in the industry includes prior positions at the Chicago History Museum and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (then known as the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau).


About Destinations International:

Destinations International (formerly Destination Marketing Association International) is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. Destinations International is about serving destination marketing professionals first and foremost. Together with more than 5,000 members and partners from nearly 600 destinations in approximately 15 countries, Destinations International represents a powerful forward-thinking, collaborative association; exchanging bold ideas, connecting innovative people and elevating tourism to its highest potential. For more information, visit