LOS ANGELES

U.S. Travel this week convened more than 650 destination marketers in Los Angeles for the association’s annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO), marking one of the largest national gatherings of destination marketers since the start of the pandemic.

The industry’s premier knowledge-sharing forum, taking place August 15-17 at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE, is bringing together destination leaders from around the country to chart a path forward while leading by example that professional meetings and events can safely take place.

ESTO is being held in-person in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, as well as all state and local health and safety requirements.

“The pandemic fallout is unlike anything our industry has faced, resulting in a new paradigm for travel and tourism marketing,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “By convening hundreds of professionals, we’re not only learning and sharing knowledge, we’re showing by practice that large business meetings can safely be held.”

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Credit: Kyle Espeleta Photography

The event is particularly timely as destination marketing organizations (DMOs) continue to play a key role in economic recovery efforts across the United States. DMOs drive visitor demand by marketing urban and rural destinations alike, as well as the products and services unique to their home communities, leading to the return of jobs and prosperity.

Featured speakers at this year’s program include Bonin Bough, one of the world’s foremost-awarded marketing executives and host of CNBC’s Cleveland Hustles; Heather McGowan, a future-of-work strategist; and Dr. Justin Laborde of Kantar, a specialist sales and marketing consultancy for brand owners and retailers.

Support for the full and safe reopening of the business travel sector has for months been driven by the Let’s Meet There initiative, an industrywide coalition of travel industry business and organizations under the U.S. Travel umbrella.

“To revive this crucial segment of the U.S. travel economy, we are leading by example,” said Nan Marchand Beauvois, general manager of ESTO. “By convening ESTO live in L.A., we are showing that it is possible—and necessary—to safely restart professional meetings and events and advance the education and professional networking that is critically important to our future success.”

Please click here to learn more about ESTO.


U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. In 2020, travel generated $1.5 trillion in economic output and supported 11 million jobs, a drastic decline from pre-pandemic figures. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.