100 Years of Advancing Destinations

DMAI Names Future Destination Marketing Leaders, Announces "30 Under 30" Selections


Friday, May 29, 2015
In its fifth year, the 30 Under 30 program focuses on identifying and developing the talent of destination marketing professionals, 30 years of age and under, through increased access and exposure to industry networking and thought leadership.

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), along with founding program partner SearchWide, and sponsors IMEX and USAE, has selected the 2015 recipients for its 30 Under 30 program. A year-round program, the 30 under 30 Class will convene for the first time at DMAI’s Annual Convention held July 14-17 in Austin, TX. Throughout the year, participants will engage in a variety of professional development and volunteer activities for sustained industry engagement. 

Michael D. Gehrisch, DMAI's President and CEO, said the program helps spot those up-and-coming individuals that will keep destination marketing on the cutting-edge. "The travel and tourism industry supports nearly 266 million jobs - 1 in 11 of all jobs in the world,” he said. “Recruiting and retaining a diverse group of talent will be critical to DMAI’s mission of protecting and advancing the success of destination marketing organizations worldwide.”

The sustained demand for travel and tourism, together with its ability to generate high levels of employment, continues to prove the importance and value of the sector as a tool for economic development and job creation. Research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows that travel and tourism employs a higher proportion of women and young people than is represented in the workforce as a whole. 

However, another piece of research conducted earlier this year for the WTTC by Oxford Economics shows that the industry could face a labor shortage of 14 million people over the next ten years, which translates to $610 billion less in GDP to the world economy. If governments and private companies fail to implement policies which promote proactive and careful talent management, travel and tourism will be unable to meet the demands of its expected growth forecasts,.

“Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest economic sectors. It drives jobs and economic growth; well-being and prosperity,” said Mike Gamble, President and CEO of SearchWide. “It is clear when speaking with industry leaders that one of the biggest challenge to their growth plans is the supply and retention of talent across all levels of their businesses. Programs like 30 Under 30 help organizations attract and retain top talent, and open up opportunities for professional growth within the industry.”

Two previous 30 Under 30 program participants were selected to serve as program ambassadors in 2013. Ambassadors attend DMAI leadership events, including the DMAI Board of Directors meeting, mentor newly selected 30 Under 30 program participants at the convention, participate within DMAI committees throughout the year and advocate for the 30 Under 30 program at industry events.

For a full list of 2015 30 Under 30 program participants, please visit http://www.destinationmarketing.org/dmai-annual-convention/2015-30-under...