100 Years of Advancing Destinations


Thursday, June 9, 2016
Largest Number of Submissions Since 2011 Program Inception; Future Industry Leaders to be Honored at Annual Convention

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Chair Bob Lander and President and CEO Don Welsh today announced the 2016 ’30 Under 30’ Class. DMAI received 95 submissions for the 2016 experience, the largest response since the program’s inception in 2011.

“Selecting 30 recipients from a record 95 submissions is no easy task,” said Lander. “Our nominating Committee reviewed every submission, and ultimately delivered an impressive roster for 2016. I look forward to recognizing these 30 future leaders who have already demonstrated exceptional potential.”

The 30 individuals, 30 years of age and under, will engage in professional development, volunteer and networking opportunities throughout 2016. The 2016 honorees originate from a variety of destinations and backgrounds, from National Tourism Bureaus such as Brand USA and the Bermuda Tourism Authority to local Convention and Visitors Bureaus in Victoria, Texas and Macon, Georgia.

Now in its sixth year, ’30 Under 30’ is supported by founding program partner SearchWide, and sponsored by IMEX and USAE. The honorees will convene for the first time at DMAI’s Annual Convention August 1‐3 in Minneapolis, MN. Recipients will be recognized Monday, August 1 immediately following the Opening Keynote featuring Abigail Posner.

“Identifying and investing in tomorrow’s leaders is critical for our industry to grow,” said Welsh. “I am confident that the program we have developed for this year’s Annual Convention will inspire and further educate this incredibly talented team of future destination marketing leaders.”

In 2015, the travel and tourism sector supported 284 million jobs, the equivalent to 1 in 11 of worldwide jobs. By 2026, this number is expected to grow to 370 million, which will equate to 1 in 9 of all jobs in the world according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, underscoring the need to develop future industry leaders.

“Not only does the program bring incredible value to our industry, but it brings unlimited opportunity to the recipients,” said Mike Gamble, President and CEO of Searchwide.” By shaping the future industry leaders, we can build an even better future for destination marketing.”

To view the full class of 2016, click here