by Lisa A. Grimaldi | March 27, 2017
The U.S. Travel Association has named Experience Kissimmee in Florida the winner of its 2017 Grassroots Travel Champion Award. The honor will be presented tomorrow at U.S. Travel's Destination Capitol Hill, an event designed to educated policymakers about the power and economic impact of travel.
 
Experience Kissimmee president and CEO D.T. Minich was cited for his instrumental role in facilitating meetings for U.S. Travel representatives with staff from both 2016 presidential campaigns, as well as with Florida's congressional candidates; he also served as the "Travel '16" spokesperson in Florida and authored an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel that encouraged the new administration and Congress to embrace travel-friendly policies. Recently, Minich helped U.S. Travel organize Travel Talks roundtables with members of Congress and the local travel industry, including an upcoming meeting with Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.).
 
Experience Kissimmee also was lauded for its support of U.S. Open Skies agreements by highlighting the impact such arrangements have on Central Florida.
 
"Our Travel '16 campaign in Florida would not have been nearly as successful without D.T. and his team," said U.S. Travel president and CEO Roger Dow. "Even after the general election, Experience Kissimmee continues to play an integral part in our efforts to promote travel priorities and build relationships with lawmakers in Florida, a state where more than 1.4 million people are employed by the travel industry. All of their phenomenal work last year, combined with their constant willingness to engage with travel-related issues at the local, state and federal level, made D.T. and Experience Kissimmee stand out as this year's Grassroots Travel Champion award winner."
 
For his part, Minich said, "It is an honor to be receiving this award from the U.S. Travel Association. They have been a huge advocate for our industry over the years, and I truly enjoy assisting them in these endeavors. I have been in the travel industry my entire career, and this is a very special recognition."