100 Years of Advancing Destinations

CDME Alumni “Give Back” to Elevate the Industry and Its Standards


Monday, October 13, 2014

Today’s destination leaders are charged with collaboratively activating a community vision for tourism in a high-stakes, hyper-competitive global marketplace, with an incredible pace of change. Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) understands the significance of helping destination marketing organizations (DMOs) define the future of the travel and business-event industry ecosystem rather than simply being swept along in the mega-trends of today.

To help accomplish this, alum gathered at the 2nd Annual Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) Alumni Summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to examine changing industry trends via DMAI’s DestinationNEXT findings and to explore transitioning leadership and management competencies that will make an impact.  The key areas of focus were DMO Advocacy, DMO Branding and Product Development, and Technology Application and Social Media. Equally important, the CDME alumni engaged in focus group activities as a “give back” to provide continuous improvement suggestions for the CDME Program.  

The CDME designation is the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the Destination Marketing industry. The focus of the program is on vision, leadership, productivity and the implementation of business strategies and is recognized as the highest educational achievement for destination management professionals.  

"By earning this designation, these graduates join an elite group of professionals who seek to elevate the industry and its standards,” said Kristin McGrath, CDME, Chair of Destination Marketing Association International's (DMAI) Education Committee.   

Specially, the CDME program prepares senior destination marketing organization (DMO) executives and managers for increasing change and competition and to become more effective organizational and community leaders.  Over 275 destination marketing professionals have achieved the CDME designation historically. 

“Our mission at DMAI is to advocate for the professionalism, effectiveness, and significance of destination marketing organizations worldwide,” said Michael Gehrisch, President & CEO of DMAI. “We realize the importance of destination marketing and are committed to improving the effectiveness of these organizations. These individuals who have achieved the CDME designation have set an example of excellence for the entire destination marketing profession.”

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