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STHM graduate, undergraduate students attend national destination marketing convention

By: Courtney Kubitza
First Published: September 9, 2015
Topics: In the News, STHM School

“Disrupters,” as Josh Linkner calls them, are those who shake the status quo and innovate to create curiosity.

A professional speaker and author, Linkner said disrupters embrace what makes him or her different. At the Destination Marketing Association International’s (DMAI) Annual Convention, professionals have the opportunity to showcase how their field is disrupting the tourism industry.

Destination marketing is a growing field in the tourism and hospitality industry. This particular field focuses on the promotion and development of a specific destination. Destination marketers actively communicate with potential visitors to influence their final destination and product choices.

Eight undergraduate and graduate students from Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) attended the DMAI Annual Convention, held July 14-18 in Austin, Texas.

STHM Associate Vice Dean Jeffrey Montague, Associate Director of Industry Relations Andrew Lovell, and Assistant Professor and Director of the Tourism and Hospitality Management program Michael Sheridan accompanied STHM’s eight students. This marked the second consecutive year in which STHM students attended the convention, following last year’s in Las Vegas.

The goal of the Annual DMAI Convention is to connect more than 1,000 fellow destination marketing organization colleagues for the most popular professional development and networking event, created specifically for destination marketing professionals.

“The DMAI Annual Convention in Austin proved to be a tremendous learning experience for our students,” Montague said. “Our graduate- and undergraduate-student attendees engaged in professional networking, shared Temple’s brand and attended educational seminars that contributed to each student’s professional growth. This convention provided students with an insight about destination marketing and how it relates to the tourism and hospitality industry as a whole. Over the course of the four days, the students were constantly challenged to be the millennial disrupters.”

Linkner, the keynote speaker, informed convention-goers on the first day of the convention how they can be the disrupters within their organizations. From there, STHM students networked with industry leaders and learned about new technology trends that destinations have begun offering consumers. The students flew drones, tested new applications, wore virtual-reality glasses, and received insight into new social-media implications. The convention placed significant emphasis on how the millennial generation can shift the industry and give the students topics to which they could relate.

“The connections I made at the conference have already assisted me in determining my career path, and I am grateful to have met so many prominent members of the industry,” said Cassandra Ball, a graduate-student attendee.

“The conference provided countless opportunities to expand our professional networks and knowledge, and helped paint a picture of an intricately connected DMO community,” said undergraduate-student attendee Luke Stelmach.
– Jessica Stern and Marissa Newberger