The Destinations Council, as part of the U.S. Travel Association, represents more than 350 destination marketing organization (DMO) and convention and visitor bureau (CVB) members and helps them be more effective by providing research, resources and education in a peer-driven format.

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The Destinations Council connects DMOs and CVBs and supports U.S. Travel in its national grassroots advocacy efforts. Educating, engaging and providing resources for members is the primary purpose for the council and the board of advisors meet several times throughout the year to 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 by:

  • Exchanging best practices and learning from peers at ESTO, the nation’s leading educational and networking event for destination marketing professionals, by attending the Destinations Council’s annual meeting and peer open forum sessions to share best practices.
  • Participating in valuable free ESTO webinars all year-long, sharing the latest in destination marketing and research.
  • 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.
  • Creating a one-of-a-kind mentorship program, the Emerging Leaders Program, aimed at providing developing professionals enhanced opportunities to grow leadership skills and advance their careers in the travel industry.


Engage by:

  • Receiving the quarterly Destinations Brief newsletter, which provides pertinent industry news and updates, and periodic Letters from the Destinations Council Chair.
  • 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.
Board of Advisors

Susie Santo
President and CEO, Visit Wichita

Vice Chair
Paul Bencivengo
President/COO, Visit Bucks County

Second Vice Chair
Robin McClain
Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Destination DC

Immediate Past Chair
Patrick Kaler
President and CEO, Visit Buffalo Niagara

Jennifer Adams
Director, Visit Destin-Fort Walton Beach
Kevin Bagger
Executive Director of the Research Center, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Gathan Borden
Vice President of Marketing, Visit Lexington
Lynn Bruni-Perkins
Vice President, Marketing Communications, San Francisco Travel Association
Ali Daniels
Vice President, Marketing, Visit Seattle
Jorge Franz
Senior Vice President, Tourism, Houston First Corporation
Colette Jones
Chief Marketing Officer, Destination Cleveland
Traci Moon
Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Visit KC
Courtney Ries
Vice President, Destination Branding & Strategy, Meet Minneapolis, Convention & Visitors Assoc.
Marla Tambellini
Deputy Director/Vice President of Marketing, Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Patricia Washington
President & CEO, Visit Alexandria
Mitch Whitten
Executive Vice President, Marketing & Strategy, Visit Fort Worth