The Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) and U.S. Travel Association have joined the resources of their foundations to create a stronger organization better capable of serving the interests of destination marketing professionals and highlighting the impact of travel around the world. The new, consolidated entity, to be known as the Destination & Travel Foundation, will bolster the destination marketing profession and travel industry by supporting activities through research, education, visioning and travel industry partnerships.
"With so much at stake in today's challenging economic environment, and with so many members in common, it makes good sense for us to pool our resources to help destination marketing professionals and the industry as a whole while making the most compelling case for why travel matters," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association. "There is a critical need for us to work collaboratively and envision our future together."
As part of the new alliance, the U.S. Travel Association Foundation will lend new support to the Destination Excellence: Investing in the Future of Destination Marketing campaign, which will be formally announced at the 16th Annual Foundation Dinner on February 25.
"The Destination & Travel Foundation will be the leading travel and tourism foundation for generations to come," said DMAI President and CEO Michael D. Gehrisch. "By joining the interests of destination marketing organizations and the greater travel industry, we will be better able to illustrate the importance of our industry on the world stage."
The new foundation will be established in the DMAI International offices and be led by the former DMAI Foundation Executive Director Jim Duda in collaboration and consultation with U.S. Travel staff. The board will be comprised of members from both organizations. Existing programs funded by both organizations will continue.
The Destination Excellence campaign is being launched in response to the landmark 2008 Futures Study, released last year by the DMAI Foundation, which identified the most pressing industry issues as relevancy, technology and social responsibility. In 2001, the DMAI Foundation successfully raised more than $3 million. Over the past eight years, more than $2 million in grants were funded.