by Lisa A. Grimaldi | July 14, 2017
Destinations International introduced its new leadership for 2017-2018 on the last full day of its annual convention, taking place this week in Montreal. Heading the slate are Tammy Blount, FCDME, president and CEO of the Monterey County (Calif.) Convention and Visitors Bureau, who will chair the organization's board, and Stephanie Pace Brown, executive director of Explore Asheville (N.C.), who will head up the Destinations International Foundation. A full list of members can be viewed here.

Among the announced initiatives for the rebranded organization (formerly DMAI) is a partnership with the James Beard Foundation designed to help destination marketing organizations to position themselves as gastronomic travel spots. DI also revealed several initiatives related directly to the convention's host country: a strategic partnership with the Destination Marketing Association of Canada to share resources and collaborate on educational opportunities, as well as the development of a Canadian model of the Event Impact Calculator, which measures the economic footprint of events.

Thursday's opening session also featured speaker Evita Robinson, founder of Nomadness Travel Tribe, an online social community that targets diverse and Millennial travelers. She told the audience that "diversity can no longer be a buzzword" and that "marketing to people of color won't hurt your other markets."

Among the Thursday breakout sessions were highlights of the DestinationNEXT 2017 Futures Study, which reports on the trends and opportunities that will shape the future of destination marketing and management (see the full details here), and an update on the Exhibitions and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (click here for more).