DMAI and Destination and Travel Foundation Announce The Fray to Perform at 2017 Spirit of Hospitality Celebration

Ticket Sales and Sponsorship Opportunities Now Open

Destination and Travel Foundation Chairman Joe Marinelli, and President of Visit Savannah, and DMAI President and CEO Don Welsh, today announced Grammy-nominated The Fray will present a private concert during the 2017 Spirit of Hospitality Celebration on March 1 at DAR Constitution Hall.

Formerly known as the Foundation Dinner, the goal of this annual event is to raise funds for the Destination & Travel Foundation to support education, research, advocacy and scholarship initiatives to empower destinations and the global travel industry.  Ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities for the 2017 Spirit of Hospitality Celebration are officially open.  Individual tickets are $395.  Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available here.

“On behalf of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, we are excited about how the organization has re-imagined this event with a dynamic new and exciting concept.  This ‘Celebration’ will give us the opportunity to recognize two true tourism industry leaders in Peter Yesawich and Rossi Ralenkotter as our 2017 awardees, and to celebrate their achievements,” said Marinelli.  “I believe that with the level of entertainment Don and his team have secured, we are clearly demonstrating that DMAI and its Foundation are committed to only the highest-quality offerings for our members, partners and customers.”

Reimagined to allow for greater networking, the event will kick-off with a networking reception in the DAR Constitution Hall Lobby Foyer from 7:00pm – 8:30pm, followed by a brief speaking program and awards ceremony in Constitution Hall, and will conclude with a 60-minute performance by The Fray.

The Fray has been nominated for four Grammys over their 12-year career.  The Denver-based group formed in 2002 and has since achieved national success with their 2005 debut, featuring the hit singles "Over My Head (Cable Car)" and "How to Save a Life," which went double-platinum. The band also earned a 2010 Grammy nomination for their self-titled release.

“I have always believed that music brings people together; therefore, whenever possible, we will celebrate events like this with live musical entertainment,” said Welsh.  “The Spirit of Hospitality Celebration is intended not only to recognize superior leadership, but also to reconnect with our industry colleagues and to really celebrate the importance and impact of the global travel industry.  

In addition to its live concert tour, The Fray has appeared on multiple television programs, including: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," the New Year as part the global TV celebration "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2014," and the outdoor stage at "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and "The Late Show with David Letterman."

Two of the industry’s most prolific leaders – Rossi Ralenkotter and Peter Yesawich -- will be honored for their leadership and vision during the 2017 Celebration.

Rossi Ralenkotter, President and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, will receive the inaugural Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) Leadership Award in recognition of his significant and long-term contributions to the DMO industry.  Established by the Executive Committee of the DMAI Board of Directors, this annual award 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.

Peter Yesawich, Vice Chairman of MMGY Global will receive the Destination and Travel Foundation’s annual Spirit of Hospitality Award which is the highest recognition presented annually to individuals and organizations that show exceptional dedication and commitment to the travel and tourism industry. Yesawich joins a distinguished community of past recipients including Brand USA, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, American Express and the Travel Channel.