The Destinations Council represents more than 350 U.S. Travel Association destination marketing organization (DMO) and convention and visitors bureau (CVB) members, whose purpose is to enhance the effectiveness of DMO professionals through the annual program of work created by the Destinations Council’s Board of Advisors.

The Destinations Council connects DMOs and CVBs and serves as champions who support and assist U.S. Travel in its national grassroots advocacy efforts. Educate and network, advocate, and inform are the main task forces that drive the council’s initiatives.?

As a U.S. Travel member, any destination marketing organization can participate in the Destinations Council community and reap the benefits:

Educate and Network by:

  • Exchanging best practices and learning from peers at ESTO, the nation’s leading educational and networking event, by attending the Destinations Council’s annual meeting and professional development sessions.
  • Participating in valuable free ESTO marketing webinars all year-long.
  • Holding a rally or event during National Travel and Tourism Week, the annual salute to travel and tourism in America.
  • Attending IPW, the industry’s premier international marketplace and the largest generator of travel to the U.S., and learning from associates at the IPW marketing session.

Advocate by:

  • Representing the Destinations Council at all U.S. Travel board meetings through the council chair.
  • Leveraging the collective strength of the industry to influence policy on travel-related issues at Destination Capitol Hill, the U.S. travel industry’s notable legislative fly-in.
  • Amplifying the voice of destinations in Washington, D.C. by joining in U.S. Travel’s efforts to reform travel policies.

Inform by:

  • Receiving the quarterly Destinations Brief newsletter, which provides useful industry news and updates.
  • Gaining access to authoritative industry research on the latest travel trends and forecasts that affect marketing decisions.
  • Participating in the annual Destiny Awards, which showcases creative accomplishments in tourism marketing and promotion.
  • Nominating an industry colleague for the DMO Rising Star award, which is presented to one trailblazing industry newcomer annually.


Board of Advisors

Jennifer Hendren, CDME
Vice President of Marketing, Richmond Region Tourism

Vice Chair
Patrick Kaler
President and CEO, Visit Buffalo Niagara

Second Vice Chair
Susie Santo
President and CEO, Visit Wichita

Tania Armenta
President and CEO, Visit Albuquerque
Paul Bencivengo
Vice President, Visit Bucks County
Katie Cook
Director of Digital Marketing, Visit Austin
Norris Flowers
President, Destination Gettysburg
Kimberly Forest
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Visit Mesa
Chris Gahl
Vice President, Communications and Marketing, Visit Indy
Maura Gast, FCDME
Executive Director, Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau
Jo Ann Haden-Miller
Director, Consumer Markets, Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau
Jeremy Harvey
Vice President, Communications & Marketing, Visit Savannah
Steve Hayes
President, Visit Pensacola, Inc.
Kari Kauffman
Director, Tourism, Experience Columbus
Whitney Lennon
Director of Marketing, Mammoth Lakes Tourism
Jennifer Moore
Vice President of Tourism, Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Greg Newland
Executive Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations, Travel Portland
Wendy K. Northcross, CCE
CEO, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
Paige Shepherd
Director of Tourism, Chickasaw Nation