Laurie Z. Stroll was recently appointed chairwoman of the DMC Network LLC, a consortium of 26 destination-management companies in North America. Stroll is the president and owner of Newport Hospitality Inc. She has been with Newport Hospitality for 20 years. Stroll also served as a board member for the Rhode Island Hospitality Association for nine years. She holds a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
PBN: What is a destination-management company, and how does a company become a member of the DMC Network LLC?
STROLL: Many people still do not truly understand what a destination-management company is. Some call us party planners or tour guides and others confuse us with a convention and visitors bureau. We are the logistic experts in a destination, and to be considered a true destination-management company by the Association of Destination Management Executives International definition one must be a professional services company specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics.
There are strict standards to be selected as a DMC Network company. … If a company meets the initial requirements, an extensive application is submitted with letters of reference and verification of all criteria. If the application is accepted a site visit takes place by the managing director and at least one board member to interview the owner, meet their team and tour their office space. At that point a recommendation is made to the board of managers for a final vote of approval before welcoming a new member.
PBN: What are some goals you hope to achieve as chairwoman of DMC Network?
STROLL: My goal this year is to grow the DMC Network and expand our coverage of destinations throughout North America and beyond. After a site visit to Puerto Rico in March with our managing director to meet with two potential DMCs, I am happy to announce our most recently approved DMC partner, Destination Puerto Rico.
PBN: Are there any hospitality-industry developments you hope to see in the next year in Rhode Island?
STROLL: My hope is that we can repeal the sightseeing-tour tax and also keep the 2 percent tax on meals and beverage from being passed. These are two very detrimental taxes to the hospitality, meetings and convention and tourism industry. •
PBN is now accepting applications for its newest award program and event for RI & Bristol County to celebrate the Manufacturing Renaissance that is evolving regionally and across the country. The deadline for applications is March 20th.
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.