Laughing Out Loud

As a former writer and editor who covered the CVB and tourism industry for years, I laughed when I read your October editorial (“New Era for CVBs,” page 5), especially the part about the CVB exec's golf trip to Scotland. I actually knew two male execs who did the same thing. Both are no longer in the business. Keep up the good work.
Ron Garbinski
The Waterloo Group
Troy, Mich.

What About Good Ol' Girls?

I certainly agree with your editorial that it's a new era for CVBs. But I am really getting tired of hearing about the “good ol' boys” network. In the business world these days, women can form their own groups and get away with it. But when men form a group, they are hit over the head with a discrimination lawsuit.

As a male meeting planner, I cannot attend the several women-only golf outings put on by numerous hotel chains. I do not see you bringing this discrimination to the attention of these hotel chains.
Name withheld upon request

Waiting to Exhale

Upon first glance at your October cover story headline (“CVBs Under Fire,” page 10), I held my breath — until I read further into the article and excellent editor's note to realize the balance and insight you offered on this important topic.

Without question, CVBs have been aggressively challenged to show their stakeholders value and ROI. As with all businesses in America, in the wake of corporate scandals and shakedowns at places such as Enron, Tyco, and MCI/WorldCom, there is a justifiable public demand for increased accountability and transparency.

Our members recognize their responsibility within the communities they serve to be safe and ethical stewards of the public trust. While there have been some instances in the past of questionable judgment by bureau executives, on the whole, our industry remains proudly behind its record of integrity and performance.

Specifically related to transparency and accountability, IACVB has made strident efforts in the area of performance measurement to ensure uniformity in assessing a bureau's achievements. The most recent set of gauges includes activity and productivity measurements in convention and travel trade sales as well as marketing and communications. These objective benchmarks will go far in legitimizing credibility and accuracy in bureau reporting.

Again, thank you for giving this subject such a thorough examination and letting our members, via your editorial roundtable, voice their candid and sincere opinions and thoughts.
Michael D. Gehrisch
President & CEO
International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus
Washington, D.C.

Letters to the editor are welcome. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Send letters to, or to Editor, Association Meetings, 132 Great Road, Ste. 200, Stow, MA 01775.