(New York, Dec. 14, 2022) — Development Counsellors International (DCI) has promoted Kayla Leska to vice president of public relations within its Tourism Practice. 

In her new role, Kayla will lead a team of nearly 20 communications professionals through the United States and Canada to implement destination public relations campaigns, while formalizing and expanding DCI’s public relations efforts to meet the needs of hotels, tour operators and cultural attractions.

During the last decade, Kayla has crafted strategic communications plans and implemented tactical programs for U.S. destinations from California to Iowa to Florida, and international destinations from Barbados to Scotland to Japan. Yet her work during the last three years — helping destination marketing organizations navigate the tumultuous pandemic-created challenges — has been particularly impactful.

Kayla led the team that launched the world’s first remote work visa for the island nation of Barbados, which resulted in global media coverage. She also spearheaded national public relations efforts for Visit Florida, which aided the state in becoming America’s most visited. Her communications leadership helped maintain and restore jobs in the tourism industry at the industry’s most critical time.

Certified in crisis communication, Kayla helps destinations navigate natural disasters — such as hurricanes, forest fires and floods — and her strategic counseling and creative come-back campaigns have helped devastated destinations regain ground.

“As communities around the world recover from the pandemic and countless natural disasters, we have seen an increasing number of requests for public relations counseling from businesses and cultural institutions within the destinations we represent,” Karyl Leigh Barnes, president of DCI’s Tourism Practice, said. “Having worked with dozens of hotels and museums throughout her career, Kayla is the right leader to formally build out this service offering for DCI.”

Development Counsellors International is the expert on how U.S. and Canadian consumers decide on where to travel, live and work. Since 1960, DCI has helped more than 500 worldwide destinations position themselves as hubs for tourism, talent and investment.

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