A seasoned tourism executive with more than 35 years of experience in the industry, Don Welsh serves as the President and CEO of Destinations International. Since joining the association in March 2016, Welsh has implemented a strategic realignment for the association through a renewed commitment to focus on member needs to deliver the resources members have determined to be essential to the success of their organizations.
Prior to joining Destinations International, Welsh served as the President and CEO of Choose Chicago. Welsh also held the CEO position at the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association and the Seattle Convention & Visitors Bureau. Prior to joining the destination marketing industry, Welsh served as senior vice president for Westin Hotels at its corporate headquarters, and has also held senior leadership positions in sales and marketing for Westin Hotels and Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas.
Elliott L. Ferguson, II
Elliott Ferguson serves as President and CEO of Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC.
A 30-year veteran of the travel and hospitality industry, Ferguson leads Destination DC’s efforts to generate economic opportunity for the District through meetings and tourism, overseeing the organization’s convention and tourism sales, marketing, finance, and business development operations.
Ferguson began his tenure with Destination DC in December 2001 as the Vice President of Convention Sales, became Senior Vice President of Convention Sales and Services in 2005 and has served as President and CEO since 2009. Prior to working at Destination DC, he served as Director of Sales and Vice President of Sales at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has also served as Director of Sales at the Savannah CVB.
Ferguson currently serves as National Chair of the board of directors for the U.S. Travel Association, where he guides the board and association’s efforts to advance policies that facilitate more international and domestic travel. He also serves on the board of directors for the following organizations: Advisory Board of the Smithsonian National Zoo; DC Jazz Festival; Ryan Kerrigan “Blitz for the Better” Foundation and the United Way of the National Capital Area.
He represents Destination DC as part of the Hospitality Alliance of Washington, D.C.
Liz Bittner currently serves as President & Chief Executive Officer for Travel South USA, a 12-state regional marketing alliance owned by the state tourism offices of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
At the helm of the oldest, largest, and most respected regional alliance in the United States, Liz has successfully built a program of work that has been acknowledged as outstanding by the Board of Directors and industry alike. Liz manages offices and well-developed programs in Australia/New Zealand, Benelux, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, and Italy. She is a premier partner with Brand USA which serves to ensure tourism as a vital and dynamic element in the region’s economic development. Recently she has been awarded the 2019 US Travel Industry’s Mercury Award for Best International Marketing, Communicator Award presented by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, a Telly Award in Digital Broadcasts and an Allie Award for Event Planning. In 2018, Travel South USA received the Most Improved Overseas Destination Marketing Organization by the National Tourism Awards in China.
Her background includes serving as Executive Vice President of Group Leaders of America, Inc and Cendant Corporation, now Wyndham Worldwide, world’s largest franchisor of lodging brands, rental car companies, and transaction processing services.
She was elected an at-large member to the U.S. Travel Industry Board of Directors in 2017, and is currently serving a second term. She serves as Business Manager for the U.S. Civil Rights Trail Marketing Alliance, LLC and Beautiful Places Alliance of South Carolina. She has held leadership positions of the National Tour Association and American Bus Association. Liz is a frequent a speaker at Governor’s Conference on Tourism across the nation and is a guest lecturer for Georgia State University’s Day School of Hospitality classes.
Liz is a graduate of Ohio University with a degree in Organizational Communications/Marketing. She resides in Atlanta with her husband, John, and is happy to brag on her adult children.
TravMedia Webinar Series 3:
DMO Roundtable - Road to Recovery
USA - Thursday, June 18, 2020 – 4:30 PM EDT | 1:30 PM PDT
As states across the United States begin to open up to domestic tourism, TravMedia brings together Don Welsh, President and CEO of Destinations International; Elliott L. Ferguson, II, President & CEO, Destination DC and National Chair of the U.S. Travel Association; and Liz Bittner, President & CEO for Travel South USA, a 12 state regional marketing alliance owned by the state tourism offices of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, to discuss the road to recovery.
Additional Webinars This Month
At Home with...
Join a conversation with CEO & Founder of TravMedia, Nick Wayland, and thought leaders in the travel industry- from editors and publishers, to journalists and PRs.
These webinars will run fortnightly and offer an opportunity to ask questions and get direct tips and knowledge from our experts.
TravTraining for PR Professionals
TravMedia will take PR pros through the services they need in their 'PR Toolbox' to compete for a share of voice and wallet when the world returns to travel. This 30-minute session will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A.