Destinations International, the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), and tourism boards, has announced that Keith Backsen, CDME, will join the association as the Chief Sales and Services Officer on January 1, 2021. This is a new position at Destinations International that will oversee the membership and partnership departments.
“We are thrilled to welcome Keith as a full-time employee of the Destinations International team,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Destinations International. “He has a wealth of knowledge in the areas of sales and services, and has a true passion for our industry. His experience and leadership will be invaluable as we continue to build upon our current memberships and partnerships.”
“As the association for convention and visitors bureaus, Destinations International exists for the sole purpose of empowering its member organizations around the world so that their destinations excel,” said Backsen. “Our strategic partners fuel and provide the resources, data and services to help members achieve their goals. I am excited to join the Destinations International team to help grow membership and partnership and look forward to continuing to work with my peers in the travel and tourism industry in this new capacity.”
Keith has over 30 years in the travel and tourism industry, with over 18 years working for destination organizations. His most recent position with the industry was the President and CEO of the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Omaha) where he was responsible for a $7.3 million budget and led the team toward its mission of driving business and economic prosperity to the region. Prior to Visit Omaha, he was the Vice President of Sales and Services for Visit Spokane where he oversaw all sales initiatives. Backsen received his Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) accreditation in 2013 and also served on the Destinations International Foundation Board of Trustees. Backsen served on the Customer Advisory Board for Simpleview, the travel and tourism industry’s largest technology provider. He also served on the board of the Omaha Metropolitan Hospitality Association, served as a two-term chapter president and numerous committees with PCMA, and is actively involved with ASAE.