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Destination & Travel Foundation unveils new logo

Destination Excellence campaign announces early donors

The Destination & Travel Foundation, formerly the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Foundation announces the progress to their Destination Excellence: Investing in the Future of Destination Marketing campaign. Despite the challenging economic climate, the campaign has had early success with nearly US$2.75 million in pledges received.

This includes a $1.1 million pledge from the U.S. Travel Association, which joined its own foundation with that of DMAI’s to form the new Destination & Travel Foundation. Joining the resources of both foundations creates a stronger organization, better capable of serving the interests of destination marketing professionals and highlighting the impact of travel around the world. As a result of the consolidation, the Destination & Travel Foundation has unveiled a new logo, reflecting the corporate logo styles, colors and respective fonts of both DMAI and the U.S. Travel Association. The goal of the new logo is to achieve a clear, consistent visual identity that resonates with all stakeholders and reinforces the fact that the Foundation is working towards one mission, under one name: Destination & Travel Foundation. (The new logo is available for reprint by request.)

The Destination Excellence campaign seeks to raise US$4 million in pledges payable over five years to address the three most pressing issues facing member organizations as identified in the Futures Study: Relevancy, Technology and Social Responsibility. The campaign was officially launched during the Annual Foundation dinner in mid-February 2009.

"We are asking our members and the travel community to make an investment in the future of our industry – and they are responding. With only a few months since our public launch, the campaign has already reach 66% of our US$4 million goal. Our members are responding because the campaign deliverables in Relevancy, Technology and Social Responsibility are necessary for our industry’s future," says Steve Moore, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Foundation Chair.

The current economic climate has created an immediate need for the campaign’s Relevancy component, which will focus on helping DMOs streamline communications with their city, state and government officials. The Foundation is already providing campaign deliverables including a study that compiled tourism data from nearly 2,500 municipalities revealing more than US$63 billion in tourism-related infrastructure projects. "DMOs are losing vital funding because some stakeholders do not understand the critically important role of DMOs. Destination Excellence can give DMOs the tools they need to create a compelling story. Building a credible concept of the DMOs contribution to their destinations will show stakeholders the bottom-line revenue generated for business and governments on a regular basis. In tough economic times, DMOs do their best work and now, more than ever, we need to come together as an industry and show our value," Moore says.

The Foundation has a history of raising funds in challenging times and a track record of success. In 2001, in the wake of 9/11, the organization successfully raised more than US$3 million. Over the last eight years, the organization has funded more than US$2 million in grants including seed funding for the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP), designed to ensure quality operations and benchmarks; creating scholarships for professional programs, education grants, and conducting the landmark, industry-wide Futures Study in 2001 and again in 2008.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.