Destination Marketing Association International and U.S. Travel Association have merged their foundations. The new institution is called the Destination & Travel Foundation and will focus on the needs of destination marketing professionals and the impact of travel around the world.

The new group will work out of the DMAI International offices in Washington, D.C., and will be led by the former DMAI Foundation executive director, Jim Duda. The board will be composed of members from both organizations.

In a press release announcing the DTF, Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, made the case for the consolidation: "With so much at stake in today's challenging economic environment, and with so many members in common, it makes good sense for us to pool our resources to help destination marketing professionals and the industry as a whole, while making the most compelling case for why travel matters," Dow said. "There is a critical need for us to work collaboratively and envision our future together."

Existing programs funded by both organizations will continue, and the DMAI Foundation’s Destination Excellence campaign, officially launching next weekend with the goal of raising $4 million, will continue under the new DTF.