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Gretchen Hall
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Paul Kelly Honored with Destinations International Global Ambassador Award at IMEX Frankfurt

Washington, D.C., USA (May 16, 2024) – Destinations International (DI), the world's leading resource for destination organizations and convention bureaus, is delighted to announce that Paul Kelly, Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland, has been awarded the prestigious Global Ambassador Award.

The Destinations International Global Ambassador Award is an honor bestowed upon a visionary leader whose innovative efforts have significantly elevated the global tourism landscape. The award celebrates those who have not only transformed their destinations but have also made profound impacts on their organizations and the broader travel and tourism industry.

Since taking the helm at Fáilte Ireland in 2017, Kelly has steered the organization through significant crisis, spearheading a recovery that has set benchmarks for the industry worldwide. Under his stewardship, Fáilte Ireland has seen the successful launch and development of transformative tourism projects such as the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. These initiatives have not only boosted tourism but have also enhanced the economic, social, and cultural vitality of Ireland.

Kelly's commitment to sustainable tourism practices ensures that growth in the industry preserves Ireland’s rich natural and cultural heritage. His strategic vision has significantly increased Fáilte Ireland's influence and reputation, earning it a place among the top 20 best large organizations to work for and recognition as one of the top 5 most trusted organizations in the country.

"Paul Kelly's leadership at Fáilte Ireland has been nothing short of transformative. His innovative approach and unwavering commitment to enhancing Ireland's tourism landscape have set a gold standard in destination management. This award is a recognition of his unparalleled leadership and innovative contributions to global tourism," said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Destinations International.

The announcement was made at the IMEX Frankfurt Gala dinner on Wednesday, May 15, where industry leaders from around the world gathered to celebrate excellence in global tourism.

For more information about Destinations International’s Global Ambassador Award, visit:


About Destinations International:
Destinations International is the world’s largest and most reliable resource for destination organizations. In short - DI educates, equips, and empowers our members to grow the success of their destinations and to excel professionally. Membership grants access to a wealth of important industry resources, educational opportunities, and exclusive benefits. For more information, visit

About The Author

Gretchen Hall

Chief Operating Officer
Destinations International

With over 20 years of experience in the travel industry, Gretchen has a proven track record of strong leadership, sustainable growth, innovative strategy and delivering results. She is a respected leader holding positions on various travel industry association boards and committees. Prior to joining Destinations International, Gretchen worked at the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) and in the sports industry; developing and managing youth basketball tournaments across the US.

During her tenure at LRCVB, Gretchen provided leadership with several signature developments including the Grand Opening of the Clinton Presidential Center, the 50th Anniversary of the integration of Little Rock Central High School which including the opening of a new National Parks museum and managing the $70 million renovation and expansion of Robinson Performance Hall and Conference Center. As Chief Operating Officer, Gretchen is responsible for the strategic development, implementation, communication and retention of global membership and partner initiatives for Destinations International.

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