The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) added to its international relationships at IMEX Frankfurt in May by entering into a partnership with Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI).
As a result, AACB has introduced a new Staff Scholarship entitling the winner to attend the DMAI Annual Convention – this year held in Orlando, Florida USA, from 15-17 July 2013. Aimed at junior level convention bureaux staff with less than 3 years experience, applicants were required to submit a short paper in line with the DMAI convention theme for 2013: “Better Together – Integrating Our Strengths”.
AACB Executive Director, Andrew Hiebl said, “Our recent strategic planning process emphasised just how highly our members value professional development opportunities delivered by AACB. We welcome the new relationship established with DMAI through this prize and value the ongoing generosity of Qantas in support of our education program.”
After a very competitive process, the judges comprising of Karen Gonzales (DMAI), Anthea Somerville (Qantas) and Andrew Hiebl (AACB), announced Emelia Vimalasiri of the Canberra Convention Bureau as winner of the DMAI Prize.
Qantas Airways Relationship Executive (Business Tourism), Anthea Somerville added, “Qantas was delighted to see the very high standard of submissions for the DMAI prize. Every one of the proposals demonstrated benefits to the individual as well as the Bureau. However Emilia Vimalasiri embraced the task and delivered an outstanding submission demonstrating a strong outcome should she attend DMAI. We congratulate her on this achievement.”
“Furthermore, Qantas is delighted to continue to support the AACB education and scholarship program to ensure the future of the industry is in good hands.”
In total, the DMAI Prize is valued at AUD $6,500 including conference registration, return flights between Australia and the US, accommodation and on ground costs.
Michael Gehrisch, President and CEO of DMAI highlighted that, “Professional development of destination marketing organisation professionals is at the heart of DMAI’s agenda. We provide our members with the most cutting-edge educational resources and networking opportunities worldwide.”
“Combining this philosophy with our ever increasing international participation makes a partnership with AACB common sense.”
DMAI Prize winner, Emelia Vimalasiri expressed, “I’m really excited about learning what other DMOs are doing in relation to strengthening their teams and working collaboratively. I look forward to sharing this information with other Australian bureaux.”
Emelia will be expected to share knowledge obtained from attending the DMAI Annual Convention with fellow bureaux colleagues later this year by presenting at AACB’s Staff Conference in Canberra, 5-7 September 2013.