Thanks to overwhelming member support, the International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus announced last Thursday, more than a week earlier than expected, that the name of the association would change to Destination Marketing Association International, effective August 2 at its 91st Annual Convention in San Diego.

The total response rate for the vote was 74 percent, with more than 80 percent of the members voting in favor of the new association name.

The new brand identity, first suggested in March, was put before the membership after the association completed its Brand Leadership Campaign research, which showed that 70 percent of respondents had little or no recognition for the term "CVB" or "convention and visitor bureau." Even meeting planners had inconsistent experiences with bureaus, according to an IACVB spokesperson.

IACVB leaders say the new name, Destination Marketing Association International, better represents the essence of what a CVB does—destination marketing. "It’s simple and translatable," says Maura Nelson, vice president of marketing and communications at IACVB. They also believe the name will have more appeal to potential members outside the U.S., where the term CVB is not used or fully understood.

Local tourism boards and CVBs will be able to decide for themselves whether or not they should change their handle. "We’re doing it as a trade association, but if a CVB label works in a local community, by all means keep it," says Nelson. With the new name for the association, however, all bureaus in the association will carry an "official destination marketing organization of…" seal on their marketing materials.

For more, look for the August issue of Corporate Meetings and Incentives.